How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?

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Adding a fresh coat of paint can transform an outdoor or indoor space. All you need is a paintbrush and a few gallons of paint from your local hardware store, right?  

Well, it’s not quite that simple. Before painting, you’ll need to do some research because the cost to paint a house varies depending on the project. There are several questions to ask yourself before you get started:  

  • What type of paint is appropriate for the space? 

  • Should I use a primer? 

  • How many gallons will I need?  

  • What tools should I invest in?  

  • Would it be cheaper to hire a company to do my painting for me?  

So, how much does it cost to paint a house? Use this guide from American Home Shield® to help you determine what’s involved.  

The Cost to Paint the Exterior of a House 

Various tools are needed to factor in the average cost to paint a house exterior. Read our money-saving tips below each tool to determine the best way to add curb appeal on a budget 

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Ladder: $100–$500 

Ladder prices vary depending on the size you need for the space.  

Money-saving tip: Before purchasing a ladder, see if your friends, family, or neighbors have one you can borrow.  

Drop cloths and plastic sheeting: $10–$100  

You can find a variety of drop cloth sizes at your local hardware store. These are very important to lay down so you don’t get paint on the sidewalk, lawn, or any other area near your painting project. It’s also a good idea to tape plastic sheeting over windows. 

Money-saving tip: Old sheets and towels can be great drop cloth substitutes and save you a few bucks.  

Pressure washer: $100–$600 

This is an item you can either rent or buy. According to Consumer Reports, renting a pressure washer can cost up to $100 per day. If you buy one, it can cost up to $600, depending on the model.  

Money-saving tip: It’s important to wash the area before you paint, so you will need to rent or buy a pressure washer. If you have the room to store it and have large spaces that need cleaning (like driveways, fences, decks, patios, and porches), investing in one could save you money in the long run.  

Primer: $20$30 per gallon 

Applying primer first helps the exterior paint adhere better to the surface; it’s also necessary if you’re changing colors or painting over bare wood or brick.  

Money-saving tip: If you’re only doing touch-ups to existing paint, you don’t need to purchase primer. Alternatively, you could purchase paint that includes primer. 

Paint: $20$100 per gallon 

There are a variety of options for exterior paint. Choose the brand, the sheen, the performance level (like how it stands up to weather), and the type of protection it provides from mold, stains, or chemicals. All of these features affect the house painting cost 

Money-saving tip: The lower the performance and protection levels, the lower the paint cost. However, keep in mind that you may need to touch up the exterior more frequently if you don’t use high-performance paint. 

Rollers, paintbrush kit, extension pole, and paint tray: $50$60 total 

While many professional painters use paint sprayers for speed and ease, a roller with an extension pole may be better if you’re doing it yourself. It is easier to control, and you won’t need as many protective drop cloths or plastic sheets near the area. Paintbrushes are necessary for detailing around windows and trim. 

Money-saving tip: While rollers and paint trays cannot be reused, ask if a neighbor or friend owns paintbrushes or an extension pole that you can borrow.  

Painter’s tape: $5$10 per roll  

You’ll need painter’s tape to protect trim and windows.  

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Caulk and a caulking gun: $10$300 

It's important to ensure the caulk around your windows and doors is effective. It’s a good practice to reseal the caulk with every paint job.  

Money-saving tip: Caulking guns can start as low as $10 but can quickly get into the hundreds depending on how many bells and whistles you need. Opt for a simpler caulk gun to save money.  

Contractor: $20–$50 per hour, depending on location 

When calculating the cost to paint the exterior of your home, it’s also important to factor in the effort it takes—time is money. If you’re the only one doing the job, it can take days and involve a lot of physical labor.  

While it will be more expensive than doing the project yourself, calling in professionals is something to consider, especially if you’re a novice at painting. They will typically purchase all the supplies needed. Sometimes, it’s worth it to pay for convenience.  

The Cost to Paint the Interior of a House 

If you want to attempt a DIY painting project, try tackling the inside walls first. Maybe now is the time to update the kitchen or bedroom walls. With interior painting, there is no need to invest in heavy-duty tools like a power washer or extension ladders (unless you have vaulted ceilings). You can also work on each room separately, which means you won’t have to invest as much money in primer and paint as you would for an exterior paint job.  

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Similar to exterior painting, you will need  

  • drop cloths to protect the floor and furniture from paint splatter;  

  • a ladder to reach the top of the wall or high ceilings; 

  • primer (if you’re going from a dark to light color or if the surface is stained); and 

  • rollers, a paint brush kit, and a tray.  

Don’t forget the paint! Like exterior paint, the average cost to paint the interior of a house depends in part on the type of paint you choose. Some luxury paint brands charge more than $100 per gallon, while less expensive options are typically in the $30–$60 range. 

While interior painting is doable for even the most novice painters, consider hiring a contractor if you’re tackling a large living room makeover, a bathroom remodel, or a full-home paint project. This will increase the house painting cost but will save you time.  

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One of the joys of owning a home is being able to paint the interior and exterior any color you like, but it’s important to understand the average cost to paint a house to protect your budget.  

Another way to safeguard your budget is to purchase a home warranty. American Home Shield offers three different plans that provide coverage for parts of up to 23 home systems and appliances. When a covered item breaks down from normal wear and tear, we’ll help repair or replace it up to plan limits. A home warranty is the peace of mind you need as a homeowner. Check out our pricing and plans 

See the plan contractfor coverage details, including service fees, limitations and exclusions. Charges for non-covered items may apply.    

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

OUR BEST PLAN IS ALL-IN ON COVERAGE SO YOU CAN LEAVE THE HOME HASSLES TO US.
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