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How Much Does it Cost to Paint a House?

by | Aug 24, 2023 | Exterior Painting

One of the most common questions we get at Absolute Painting is how much does it cost to paint my home?  We get that phone call about once per week at least. This is a very difficult question as every house is different in terms of the work it may need, the type of siding, and the age of the home. This is similar to calling a mechanic and asking them how much it is to fix your car without them seeing it…  We can certainly give you a wild guess without seeing your home but we would much prefer to send out one of our painting contractors to give you accurate information!

How Much Does it Cost to Paint a House?

There are so many variables when it comes to the cost of house painting. I have seen a 1,500-square-foot home cost anywhere from $5,000-$20,000 depending on the level of prep work needed.  At Absolute Painting, we have to see your home in person to get you an exact cost for painting. We prefer to meet with you and discuss your goals for the project and make sure you fully understand every detail of the project prior to starting.   

Any home built prior to 1978 may have old layers of lead paint that can cause the project to be much more expensive than a home that was built in the last 40 years.  Some homes may have had all of the old lead paint removed at some point.  Some older homes have been fully renovated at some point so they may not have any of the original surfaces that could have had lead paint.  We typically do a lead check on any older home to find out if lead laws need to be followed when painting.  Some paint companies specialize in painting older homes with lead and avoid doing the newer homes.  Make sure you hire a certified lead painting company to work on your home if it may have lead paint on it.    

The type of siding you have can make a big difference in how much prep work is needed to paint your home. For example, homes with cedar siding in poor condition can cost a lot more to prepare than a home with fiber cement siding.  Old cedar siding may deteriorate and need to be replaced instead of just painted.  The paint can have major problems on older cedar especially if it gets direct sun on it.  Fiber cement siding is the most popular siding in the last 30 years or so and is much easier to prepare and maintain when painting.  It rarely deteriorates like cedar siding.  Some homes still have the older LP siding on them that can be in really bad shape or it may be holding up well enough to paint depending on weather exposure. 

Depending on the type of siding you have may determine the best paint product to use on it.  Older homes with cedar siding usually do much better with a thinner build paint.  We do not recommend applying thick coats of paint to older cedar as it can cause problems such as paint blisters that will never go away.  The more coats of paint you put on older cedar the more likely you are to get paint blisters or peeling paint. 

Average Cost to Paint a House

The average cost to paint the exterior of your home has increased in the last few years due to labor and paint costs. On average a home built after 1980 that does not have any lead paint on it would cost between $3.50-$5.00 per square foot to get painted if it requires a normal amount of prep work.  If you have a 2,500-square-foot home that needs basic prep work including pressure washing, fixing caulk, minor scraping, sanding, and priming of peeling areas would typically cost you between $8,750-$12,500.  This will include very high-quality paint and materials assuming you are using a high-quality painting contractor. 

Factors that Affect the Cost to Paint Exterior of House

The number one factor in the cost of painting your home is the labor cost.  If you hire a company that does lower-quality prep work or only applies one coat of paint you will pay less money but it won’t last as long.  Hiring a company that does high-quality work will definitely cost you more but the job will hold up much longer for you.  

The prep work is a huge factor in the cost of a paint job.  Some homes may need 30 hours of prep work and some may need hundreds of hours of prep on them.  The conditions of the siding and trim are a huge factor in the cost of prep work.  Every home is so different and the older they are the more likely they will need extra attention.   

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House Exterior During High Season? Low Season?

The cost to paint your home during the busy season will likely be slightly higher than if you plan ahead and take advantage of early-season discounts some painters will offer.  Once the sun comes out in Oregon most painting contractors will be booked up months in advance.  If you call in January or February to get your painting estimate you will likely save some money as painters are not booked up for the year at that point.  If you call to get an estimate in July or August you will be lucky to find any reputable contractors that have any time left in their schedule to get the work done.  Call ahead and plan ahead if you want to get a good contractor to paint your home!

We typically don’t paint any exteriors during our slow season unless it is an emergency or someone is selling the home.  We sometimes get good weather in October, November, March, and April and can get some exterior painting done but it is much harder due to the short days and cold night temperatures.  May until October are the best months for exterior painting in Oregon most years.

Example: Cost to Paint 1,500 Sq Ft House Exterior

The typical cost to prepare and paint the exterior of a 1500-square-foot home would be around $6,000-$7,000.  This can vary a lot based on age and type of siding but this would be a normal price for this work. 

What is Included in an Exterior House Painters Cost?

Most exterior paint jobs include a full exterior pressure wash of all surfaces getting painted.  It will also include fixing any failed caulk on the home.  We will scrape, sand, and prime any loose paint with an appropriate primer.  All surfaces will be painted with two coats of high-quality exterior paint.  This will typically include the exterior of any painted siding, gutters, trim, and doors. 

Exterior vs. Interior Painting Cost

Interior painting is slightly easier to estimate without seeing the job but it is always much better to see the job in person just like exterior painting.  We get customers sending us photos of rooms they want to get painted almost every week and we can at least give a fairly educated guess on the cost to paint interior rooms based on photos.  

DIY vs. Professional House Painting Cost

If you are wanting to paint the exterior of your home to save money please keep in mind all of the expenses it takes to paint your home.  You need a lot of equipment to do the job safely and the right way.  Having the correct ladders and safety equipment can cost a lot of money but save your life.  Having the right painting tools and the right types of paint are critical to the end results.  Make sure you have all of the right masking materials and tarps for the job or you can end up with a big mess that may not clean up. Trying to save money often costs homeowners more in the long run so make sure you know what you are signing up for before you start.

Best Practices for Hiring a Professional Painting Contractor & Comparing Quotes

The hard part about comparing paint companies is that most bids seem pretty similar when you read them other than the cost.  Most painters tell you what you want to hear and then figure out ways to do the job faster with less prep work or fewer coats of paint than you were promised.  I suggest you really do your homework by checking on online reviews, licensing information, and the contractor’s board website to find out how long they have been in business and what others are saying about them.  A bad paint job can look great when it is completed but not last very long so make sure you trust the company you hire.

Maintenance and Care for Painted Exterior Surfaces

We recommend pressure washing your home every 2-4 years to keep it clean.  A good quality paint will clean fairly easily. Your home should be washed just like your car or the paint will break down and not look great for very long. 

Exterior House Painting in the PNW with Absolute Painting

Remember our painting season is very short in the Portland area. Our weather is either too cold or too wet about 6  months out of the year to paint outside.  Plan ahead for this work as much as a few months in advance to get this work scheduled. 

Absolute Painting has been painting homes for over 25 years and we take great pride in our work and exceeding our customer’s expectations. If you’re in the Portland metro area, call (503)330-4928 or fill out the form below for a free estimate. We look forward to working with you!

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