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

Painting the exterior of your home will boost curb appeal, home value, and give you pride of ownership too. Painting your home’s exterior can completely change and modernize the look of your home too. Plus, it costs less than a full siding replacement, is better for the environment, and can be completed in just a few days compared to a full-scale exterior renovation.

A professional paint job on your home’s exterior will protect your home from bad weather, insect damage, corrosion, mildew, and mould. Your home will look better and you can expect your paint job to last 10 to 15 years.

How to tell if your home’s exterior needs a paint job?

You might not know exactly when your home was painted last, but there are some tell-tale signs that it might be time for this exterior upgrade.

If your paint is peeling, bubbling or cracked.

Look for sections of your home’s exterior walls that have bubbling or peeling paint. If that is what you find, you need to act quickly. When the paint has peeled away, it means your siding is vulnerable to the elements and can start letting moisture in. If you develop a moisture problem, the damage can be extensive. It can lead to rot, mildew and even dangerous mould which will have to be remediated by a professional mould removal company. So, in short, if the paint is peeling, bubbling or cracked, it’s time to call in a professional painting company for an exterior paint job.

The colour is fading.

Your home’s exterior takes a lot of abuse! It gets hit with snow, rain, and damaging UV rays. Over time, it will start to fade. Keep your home looking vibrant and well-cared for with a new exterior paint job. Not only will it improve aesthetics, but fading can also be the first sign that the paint is wearing out and will not do its job of protecting your home properly.

You can see that your wood or stucco cladding is damaged.

That coat of paint is your home’s first defense against the weather. Unfortunately, it won’t last forever. If you see that areas of your wood siding look rotten, or that your stucco is cracking, it could mean the paint is failing. It also means you need to get that siding repaired before you paint over it. Once it’s all repaired, a fresh coat of paint will act as that extra barrier against the elements.

You can see what looks like stains on the siding.

Anything that looks like it’s wet or stained from being wet previously, is not a good sign. Where there is moisture, mildew and mould are sure to follow. You can clean off any stains with a mild detergent and some scrubbing. If the stain won’t go away, you should call in a professional contractor to inspect it for you. Sometimes you can just paint over a stain, but often it means the material beneath the paint needs replacing for it to be fixed properly.

Breaking down the cost to paint exterior of a house

According to HomeGuide, it will cost between $1,811 and $3,201 to paint a home’s exterior. That makes the average cost to paint a house exterior about $2,500 for a 2,400 square foot, two-story house. You can work that out to about $0.60 to $1.60 per square foot.

What factors determine the cost of painting a house exterior?

The main factor that will determine the cost of painting your home’s exterior is the size of the house. This determines both labour and the amount of paint and supplies needed to do the job. Just like any interior painting estimate, the painting contractor will determine the total square footage of the surfaces you need painting and start their quote from there. Things like the complexity of the paint job, how many crew members it will take, and the cladding they are painting over can all play a part in determining cost.

Here are other factors that will impact the cost of painting the exterior of a house:

Preparation

The prep work for any paint job, exterior or interior, is vital to the final result. If the surface is not properly prepared, the paint job will not last. It needs to adhere correctly to the surface, and that means the surface gets a major clean. For an exterior, that could include power washing, scraping old paint, sanding, repairing cracks, holes and priming the walls.

Extra equipment

A painting contractor will need to use specialized equipment if your home is larger than average. This could include a boom lift or extra scaffolding. This will be worked into your total cost.

Total labour

According to HomeGuide, expect to pay between $30 to $40 per hour per painter working on your home. If you have two painters working on your 1,800 square foot home, it will take them about 36 hours to prep and paint the exterior. That brings your labour cost to $1,8080 to $1,260.

Paint and supplies

It is estimated that one gallon of paint will be used for every 100 square feet of surface area. Low-quality paint is priced at about $21/gallon, with high-quality painting averaging $70/gallon. So if you have a 1,800 square foot house, you’ll need 18 gallons of paint. That brings your paint cost to $380 to $1,260.

Trim and doors

The cost of painting trim is about $1 per linear foot. The cost of painting an exterior door is between $90 and $200 per door, depending on the cost of materials and supplies, and if the door requires any special prepping or repairs first. Add these costs to your estimate.

Try not to cheap out too much on paint. If you use low-quality paint, it will not last as long, maybe five years tops. High-quality paint can last 10 to 15 years, especially with thorough prep work.

Painting different surfaces will determine a different cost.

Most types of siding can be painted over, with varying results and costs. Different types of siding will require more or less prep work and priming, bringing the total estimate up or down. Here is a breakdown of different types of siding and what is required to paint them:

Painting vinyl siding

Your vinyl siding was manufactured in a certain colour, but it can start to fade over time. Painting vinyl is not ideal, but it’s not impossible either. As a general rule of thumb, you can paint your siding as long as you paint it a lighter colour than its original colour. This is because vinyl can only absorb so much heat, and darker colours can cause it to warp. Special vinyl paint will need to be used. Special care will also have to be taken when painting it because if your siding shifts, it could expose the old colour at the seams if it’s not painted properly. Expect to pay $43 per 100 square foot for brush and roller painting, or $34 per 100 square feet for spray painting.

Painting metal siding

The most common type of metal siding is aluminum. If you want to paint metal siding, it will have to be cleaned with a TSP/water solution. Then rinsed, dried, sanded and primed with an oil-based primer. Once the primer is dried, it can be painted. Spray painting will not adhere to the surface, so brush and roller methods are used. Expect to pay $29 per 100 square feet for brush and roller painting.

Painting stucco siding

New stucco must cure for a month or two before it can be painted. Otherwise, the paint won’t adhere to the surface. If you’re not sure if it is cured, a painting contractor can use a moisture meter to determine if it’s dry enough to paint. Then it will have to be sanded, holes and cracks fixed, and it will have to be painted on a dry day. Painting stucco usually takes more paint as the material is absorbent. Expect to pay $112 per square feet for brush painting, $55 per 100 square feet for roller painting and $25 per square feet for spray painting.

Painting wood siding

Preparing wood siding can be very time-consuming. It must be pressure washed, scraped and sanded so there are no loose paint chips remaining. If any siding is rotten or damaged, it needs to be replaced first. Small cracks and holes can be filled with a wood filler. Expect to pay $43 per 100 square feet with brush and roller painting and $34 per 100 square feet for spray painting.

Painting brick

Painting brick and masonry will first require the surface to be scrubbed with a dry brush, then cleaned with a TSP/water solution. Once dry, the painting can begin. Expect to pay $30 per 100 square feet for brush painting, $52 per 100 square feet for roller painting and $18 per 100 square feet for spray painting.

Higher painting surfaces can bring the cost up above average

We mentioned briefly above the complexity of the paint job above. The biggest concern for painting contractors is painting homes that are higher than average, which increases the risk to the contractor and makes the job more challenging.

Heights that are above 8 feet usually take longer in both prep and painting. This is because the contractor must use a roller pole, or a wand on a spray gun, and do it from a ladder or scaffolding. Because of the height risk, the painters will take extra time to be cautious and prevent injury. If you have some higher than average areas of your home, you need to add to your cost estimates. Your painting contractor will determine the extra cost if this is your situation.

Choosing paint for your home’s exterior

Choose the right type of paint

There are two things you must decide when picking out paint for your home: the type of paint and the paint colours. The type of paint you use must be durable to protect your home from the elements. It’s important to invest in high-quality paint, so you don’t have to spend money on another paint job prematurely. Make sure it is stain resistant, has good coverage, and offers outstanding exterior protection. You’ll also have to pick a paint that is suited best for the siding you have on your house. An experienced painting contractor can help you with this.

Choosing paint colours

Choosing paint colours for your home’s exterior can feel a bit stressful. After all, you’ll have to look at the colour you’ve chosen for the next decade or more, so let’s make sure you love it!

If you don’t even know where to start, do a little online research for exterior paint colours. After browsing through a few home improvement sites, you might find a colour profile you prefer. There are also some online tools that will allow you to upload a photo of your house, and try different colours on it, so you can see how it might look.

A paint store or specific paint brand might offer online colour matching tools. You can choose an initial colour, and the program will help you find colours that will match. This way, you can try out different colours for the main walls, trim and other exterior features of your home.

You can also pick up a few paint samples and paint some small areas of your home’s exterior to see how the colour will look. Paint a small area on both the south and north-facing walls of the house, as the lighting will make a difference in how the paint looks. You should also go out and look at the paint samples during different points of the day, and make sure you’re happy with how it looks as the natural light changes.

What paint colours are in style?

Neutrals and naturals remain the trend for home exteriors. For some neighbourhoods, you might have to stick to your neighbourhood guidelines regarding the colours you can paint your home’s exterior. To be sure, check with your neighbourhood association.

Popular colours are neutral beiges, greys, natural blues, and greens. For trim, the trend is to keep it light and bright to provide good contrast with the main colour. Whites and creams work best for this, but some homeowners are going bold with black trim. For the front door, it seems you can get a little more creative. Red, teal, yellow and black doors are popular choices.

Choosing a painting contractor

Painting your home’s exterior is a time-consuming job. It will also require specialized equipment like scaffolding, boom lifts, and ladders. Prepping and painting at high heights can be hazardous, so is best left to the experienced and knowledgeable professionals. Not only do they have the experience to do it safely, but they can also do it more efficiently and you’ll have professional, seamless results.

Like choosing any contractor to work on your home, it’s essential that you do your research before hiring a painting contractor. You want to check for things like a business license, proper insurance, WCB coverage and check the Better Business Bureau for any outstanding issues. You can also ask the contractor to provide references for their last three jobs. Then you can look at photos, do a drive-by and even call the previous customers to learn about their experience.

RenovationFind.com is a free online directory of certified contractors. We vet our contractors based on several important criteria including licensing, insurance, WCB coverage, financial and legal checks, and we monitor customer complaints.

 

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