How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?

Your home will look nicer, and painting may add value, too

Man painting wall at new home
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If you’re starting to feel like your home could use a facelift, painting can be one of the most cost-efficient ways to freshen the look—and it might even be a good way to improve the value of your home.

Depending on how you approach the work, however, the cost can vary widely. Here are some of the factors to consider, and how to decide whether it’s the right move for you.

Cost of Painting the Exterior

According to HomeAdvisor, it costs an average of $2,832 to paint the exterior of your home, though that price can range from $1,710 to $3,975. There are also several factors that can influence how much it costs to paint the exterior of your home.

  • The material of your home: Painting wood and vinyl costs about $1 per square foot less than painting stucco or brick.
  • Size of your home: As you might expect, the bigger your house, the more paint it will take to cover the exterior. You’ll also pay more in labor costs.
  • Type of paint used: There’s an enormous range of paint quality, and high-end brands may cost twice as much as lower grade paints. While it doesn’t much matter whether you use an oil-based or latex-based paint, your choice of finish can affect the price. In general, paint with a matte finish costs less than high-gloss paint. 
  • Who does the work: Labor can easily be your biggest expense. Typically, paint pros charge between $25 and $75 per hour. Typically, though, contractors will offer a bid of a flat rate for the project.

Cost of Painting the Interior

Interior paint costs are driven by many of the same factors, including the size of the home, which rooms you focus on, and the type of paint you use. The condition of your walls matters, too. If yours have major stains or uneven surfaces, you may need one or more coats of primer to ensure smooth coverage, which can add to the total cost.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of painting the interior of a home is $1,776. It can range from $964 to $2,739 for an entire home, while an individual room may run you somewhere between $200 and $1,000. 

One thing to keep in mind as you choose paint for the interior is that a matte finish, though less expensive, is harder to clean. So, if you have children and/or pets, you may want to spring for the higher-cost gloss finish so that it’s easier to clean and looks nice longer.

While not many homeowners are willing and able to tackle exterior paint jobs, painting the inside of your home can make a good do-it-yourself home improvement project, and you’ll save a substantial amount of money on labor costs. Just make sure you have the tools and the time to tackle the job properly.

Pros of Painting Your House

Painting your home can be a hassle, but offers some advantages compared to other home improvement options.

Cons of Painting Your House

While painting your home can be cost-effective, if you’re not careful it could set you back.

  • The wrong color can actually reduce the value of your home.
  • If you don’t accurately estimate square footage and labor costs, it may prove more expensive than you thought.
  • If you can only afford lower-quality paint, you may need to re-do the job in a few years.

Will Painting Increase Your Home’s Value?

Home improvement projects that increase curb appeal—that is, the look of your home—have among the biggest payoffs in terms of return on investment.

With that said, there’s a good chance that you’ll recoup the money you spend on painting if you plan to sell in the next year or two, while the paint job still looks new.

But color choice matters. A 2019 Zillow analysis found that houses painted yellow sold for about $3,500 less than expected. The study also found that bold colors are out, while “warm modernism and organic accents” are the current trends. 

Accents matter too. Zillow found that a black door can help boost your home’s sale value by up to more than $6,000. But don’t take that as a hint to paint the entire house that color. The study found that palette contrasts in general, such as kitchens with different upper and lower cabinet colors, helped owners nab a higher sale price.

The Bottom Line

If you’re wondering how much it costs to paint a house, the answer ultimately depends on the size of your home, the type and quality of paint, who does the work, and if you’re tackling both the interior and exterior. Save money by doing it yourself, looking for paint sales at large improvement stores, and choosing the right colors so that you can hopefully add value to your home.

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