How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?
The New Official 2023 Guide
“How much does it cost to paint a house?” is a question every homeowner wants to know. Though I can’t give you an exact price, I am willing to divulge our prices, which should give you a realistic ballpark.
There are many variables to account for that can adjust the price higher or lower, and the best way to know the cost is to invite us to give you an estimate. However, when you answer these questions, you should know how much it costs to paint a house, whether interior, exterior, or kitchen cabinets.
Interior: Variables That Cannot Be Measured by Sq. Ft.
Prep work is the unknown cost in determining the cost to paint a house. Visual inspection is necessary.
Specific walls, ceilings, and trim measurements can give an accurate painting cost. But to answer the question, “how much does it cost to paint a house?”, a visual inspection is needed to determine the following:
- Spackling walls and ceilings
- Priming stains
- Caulking trim
- Moving an unusual amount of contents
Water stains are simple repairs and generally don’t cost much to fix.
More prominent water stains may require a mold inspection. In this scenario, we would have to remove a small piece of the damaged area and inspect for mold.
If mold is not detected, the repair would only cost between $35.00 and $50.00. However, if mold is present, the costs for treatment could escalate to several hundred dollars depending on the severity.
Factoring in the Spackle
It is best to see these repairs firsthand to decide the actual cost of painting a home. The good news is that Klappenberger & Son gives free estimates.
I would be very hesitant to hire a contractor who does not visit the site before giving an estimate.
Hiring a contractor site unseen can easily lead to additional costs when the job progresses.
The amount of wall and ceiling repair will affect the cost of painting the interior of a home.
If tape joints are separating from the drywall, these repairs will also affect the cost of painting a house.
Both holes and tape joint repairs will typically take several passes of spackle to return the surface to a smooth surface.
For example, a children’s bedroom with lots of thumbtack holes and stickers can add $100.00 to the cost of painting the room.
How Much Do Closets Add to the Cost of Painting a House?
A typical size bedroom closet is only about 12 to 16 square feet. Even though there is not a lot of floor space, they are more time-consuming per square foot than the bedroom.
For example, a 12 foot x 12 foot bedroom might cost $5.00 per floor square foot to apply two coats to walls, trim, and ceiling.
Contrary, a closet would cost $8 to $10.00 a square foot for the same number of coats.
Tip! If you decide to paint your closets, have the entire closet painted with eggshell or satin sheen scuff paint. These paints are very durable and scuff resistant.
Molding Looks Great, but It Adds to the Cost of Painting a House
The size and amount of molding can affect the cost of house painting. Homes with two- or three-piece crown molding may cost upwards of $2.00 per linear foot or more if it needs to be re-caulked.
Chair Rail – it looks great, but we are tripling the amount of brushwork required compared to a wall with no chair rail; if you have a chair rail figure, spending another $1.50 per linear foot.
Window Sashes – the moving part of a window is called the sash. These vary in cost due to the size and amount of panes.
A typical cost to paint a window sash with no grills would be about $25.00 per window, per coat.
I love high ceilings, but they do take more time to paint. It also requires additional time to paint the walls, especially when they are 10 feet or higher. A good rule of thumb is to add $0.15 per square foot. In other words, a 20 foot x 20 foot room with 8 foot high ceiling at $0.75 per square foot would cost $300.00. If the ceiling is 9 feet high, add $0.15 cents, and the cost would be $0.90 per square foot.
The coffered ceiling shown on the right would cost about $400 to $500 to paint. That would include the inserts and four-piece crown molding.
Amount of Contents in Area
A final factor that affects the cost of painting a home is the number of contents.
An empty house might be 35% cheaper to paint than a moderately furnished home.
If you are in the process of selling your home and want to get it painted, it would be prudent to wait until the house is either empty or decluttered.
Tips for Reducing the Cost to Paint a House Interior
The cost of painting a house can be pretty expensive. I’ve always been one of those customers who wants a reasonable price and quality work. But the simple fact is that painting two coats on an average size home of 2,000 square feet takes about 160 hours for seasoned pros. For a homeowner to tackle a project this size, it can take twice as long!
What can we do to minimize the cost of having a professional painting contractor, such as Klappenberger & Son, paint your home?
First, look at the ceilings before you assume they need to be painted. If the ceilings are still clean and you are okay with the color, let’s hold off on painting them.
Not painting a standard 8 foot high ceiling would save you about $0.75 per square foot. In other words, a 14 foot x 14 foot room would save you about $147.00 per coat!
As mentioned, closets cost between $8 to $10 per square foot to paint. That means a 2 foot x 6 foot closet may cost around $100.00 or more. If the closets are full of stuff, it might not make sense to paint them.
Remove the Wallplates
Removing one wallplate might take less than a minute, but the average home has over 75 outlets. That means removing and reinstalling wallplates can take several hours. Time is money, and offering to do this will speed up the job for the contractor.
Moving The Furniture
Having 2 feet of space around the perimeter of a room is all one needs to paint the walls and trim. If you are painting the ceilings, it may require that the rooms have some of the contents removed. When the space is properly cleared and ready for prep and paint, it makes a contractor’s job much easier and more enjoyable. Ask the contractor if that will reduce the cost of painting a house.
What Will Not Reduce The Cost Of Painting A House
From time to time, customers will request that they buy the paint. This rarely reduces the overall cost of painting a house and can lead to several problems.
First, we know the right paint for a given situation, which is why we warranty our work when we buy the paint. If the customer buys the paint, the warranty is void.
Secondly, if we need another gallon of paint to finish a job, it is not practical for the customer to drop what they are doing and run to the paint store.
Finally, getting the wrong paint can mean that the paint is not even useable for your project. Custom tinted colors are non-refundable, and I promise the painting contractor doesn’t want it either.
What Will Not Increase The Cost To Paint A House
It’s nice to have a group of guys at your house, and you might start thinking with a list of small things you would like us to do. We would be happy to oblige if it just takes a few minutes. For example, replacing some light bulbs or smoke detector batteries or cleaning a window or two that is difficult to reach.
Replace light bulbs (limit 6) (bulbs not included)
Take old paint to landfill (5 container limit)
Sand walls before painting (standard)
Warranty work for 5-10 years. Klappenberger & Son offers 5-10 year warranties for exterior painting (5-7 years), Kitchen cabinet painting (years), and interior painting (10 years).
How Much Does It Cost To Paint Kitchen Cabinets?
The cost of painting kitchen cabinets is substantially cheaper than replacing or refacing them.
Our kitchen cabinets come with a five-year warranty on chipping and pealing.
We calculate kitchen cabinets by counting the number of doors, drawers, and visible sides. The inside of the cabinets is not included in this formula.
After you calculate the number of doors, drawers, and sides (without doors or drawers), multiple that number by $100.00
This price includes the following:
- Removing and reinstalling all hardware
- Cleaning cabinets
- Apply two top coats
- The price includes all visible surfaces and both sides of cabinet doors
A moderate-size kitchen might have 35-50 doors, drawers, and sides on typical-size kitchen cabinets. Therefore, most kitchens cost $3,500 – 5,000 dollars to paint.
What Does It Cost to Paint A Home's Exterior?
Exterior homes have many variables that influence the cost of painting. And just like interior painting, it is best to schedule an estimate and have a professional estimator walk around the house and inspect the home thoroughly.
The first step in all exterior painting is cleaning. Typically done via power washer.
The cost to power-wash a home will run between $250 – 500, depending on several factors.
The height, two or three-story 2,000 square ft home takes longer to clean than a one-story 2,000 home.
If the land has steep grades or obstacles such as trellis patio trees smashed up against the house it will likely increase the amount of time which will be reflected in the cost.
Factoring Prep Work Into The Cost To Paint A House
Prep work – In 1989 when I first started painting homes, there were a lot of wood-siding homes. Today many wood siding homes have been replaced with hardy board or vinyl. Wood siding has always proven to be the highest-maintenance product.
If you have wood siding chipping and pealing on most sides, expect to pay between $1,600 and $4,000 to have it adequately scraped, edges sanded, and primed.
EIFS, vinyl, cement board, and brick require the least prep work. A simple power wash with the proper chemicals and you are ready to paint.
Below is an sq. ft. chart that gives low and high costs. The price includes labor and materials for two coats of exterior house paint.
Other Varables That Affect The Cost To Paint A House
- Height of home
- Access around the home – slopes, other structures such as trees, houses, and street traffic.
- How porous is the surface to be painted
- Amount of prep work
- Each additional color will raise the cost of painting a house.
How Much Does It Cost To Paint A House Exterior
It’s time to break out the tape measure and do some calculations. Please factor in the variables listed above to the best of your ability to determine if your home is on the easy or difficult side.
Low Square Ft (2 COATS) Easy access
High Square Ft (2 COATS) Difficult access
Limewash 1 coat
Smooth Wood siding
Ruff Wood Siding
$60.00 per pair
|$80.00 Wood louver shutters could cost more.|
$5.00 linear ft
$10.00 linear ft (dental molding)
$30.00 first floor
$50.00 first floor
Garage Door Double
Prep work is not included in any of the prices listed above.
It may be challenging to figure out the total cost for an exterior painting project by adding up all the high and low numbers. If you have a standard colonial two-story home, for example, it is fair to conclude that the first floor is easy and the second floor will be slower and on the higher end.
Here are some additional variables that affect the cost of painting a homes exterior.
- The house is two stories or taller.
- Access to the home is difficult. – slopes, other structures such as trees, houses, and street traffic.
- The surface(s) are porous (such as unpainted brick and EIFS)
- Will the surfaces be brushed and rolled or sprayed?
- Having the trim a different color from the siding will add to the total cost of the job.
Tips To Reduce the Cost of Painting The Exterior
Spraying a home can reduce the cost of painting a house without affecting the quality.
Many customers I have spoken to are skeptical of having their homes sprayed. They believe that they will only get a lite coat of paint.
The opposite is more likely to be the case. When the paint is sprayed, it is very easy for the paint to dry thicker with more mils than if it was brushed or rolled.
Consider when you spray the paint lays on the surface until it dries. If you brush or roll, you are spreading the paint out. Heavy areas of paint get pushed until there is an even distribution, then another area gets painted.
Whether a surface will be sprayed or not depends on how much time it will take to tape and protect windows and doors.
Big open spaces, such as the gable side of a home, are ideal for spraying and can reduce the cost of painting a home by as much as 25%.
After Cleaning, See If Some Areas Don't Need Painting
Many times, after cleaning a house, some surfaces did not need to be painted.
Protected areas such as soffits and the north side of the house would be good examples.
Once the mold and mildew were removed, the surfaces looked fresh and clean.
Trim plants and pushes away from the house to make it easier for the painters to be productive.
When a painting contractor sees overgrown plants running up the side of the home slows down production.
Tips For Finding A Quality Painting Contractor
When you start receiving estimates for painting work, expect the estimator to calculate the square footage of the house and make a note of the details.
If someone does not take notes, pictures, and measurements, they may be taking a wild guess.
Try to get three estimates.
It might mean you have to call a dozen painting contractors to get three to give you a written proposal.
I strongly recommend that you not accept poorly written or verbal proposals.
If It's Too Good To Be True ...
You will likely receive a wide range of prices because many contractors do not measure. Instead, look around and take their best guess.
Be cautious of a contractor who does not take the time to measure and discuss the details of the job.
Unfortunately, too many contractors take wild guesses and purposely lowball jobs for many reasons.
Here are some typical outcomes when a customer chooses a price significantly lower than the others.
Best Case Scenario– the contractor accepts his loss and professionally completes the job.
Worst Case Scenario– the contractor asks for more money during the job.
Even Worse Case Scenario– the contractor, walks off the job or leaves to do other work for extended periods.
Most Worse Case Scenario – the contractor cuts corners and does not fulfill the contract but invoices anyway.
When evaluating painting companies read the proposal carefully for the details. Ask for clarification. The proposal should be clear on the prep work, type of paint, sheen, and number of coats.
Does The Quality Of Paint Affect The Cost To Paint A House?
Materials are typically about 15% of the cost to paint. Choosing a premium grade of paint might increase the total cost of the job by 5% at most.