Home Improvement

How much does it cost to paint a house?

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At some point, it will be time to paint your home. Perhaps the exterior of your home is looking weathered or you need a new nursery for an upcoming bundle of joy. Maybe you are finally getting the home study that you have always wanted.

The cost of painting a home varies vastly from one project to the next, and will be determined by a number of different factors, including whether you plan to hire a professional painter or paint it yourself, the size of the project, the type of paint and even the amount of patches or repairs you’ll have to do before painting.

Painting a home can be a costly endeavor, but there’s no need to panic. It’s easy to figure out an estimate of the cost to paint your home if you educate yourself on the ins and outs of this type of project.

Average paint costs

How much does it cost to paint a house? Well, the size of your home will help determine the cost since estimates take into account the square footage of the space.

These are the average costs to paint a 2,500 square foot home, according to the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America:

Area to be Painted Average Low Cost of Paint Average Cost of Paint Average High Cost of Paint
Home Exterior $3,000 $4,000 $5,000
Home Interior $3,750 $5,625 $7,500

What factors play a role in the cost of painting a home?

Not all homes are created equal, and neither are all painting projects. Some homeowners need to paint a 4,000 square foot area while others are dealing with much smaller spaces.

There are a number of factors to consider when estimating the cost of your painting project, including:

  • The type of surface that’s being painted: The surface that is being painted will affect the costs, and sometimes by a large amount. If the exterior of your home is stucco, it will require more materials and labor than simple vinyl or wood, so you could end up paying an average of $1 more per square foot.
  • The height of your home or walls: The height of the area that needs to be painted will affect your costs, in part because professionals will require more equipment and time to reach higher areas. Higher ceilings will drive up the risk and the price. The height will affect the cost even if you’re doing the painting yourself, since it takes more paint to reach the top of those 18-foot ceilings, no matter who’s doing the work.
  • The part of the country you live in: The part of the country you live in will affect the price of the job. Labor in metropolitan areas is typically more expensive than rural areas, and pricing is often reflective of the area’s cost of living.
  • How large of an area you plan to paint: The surface area that you plan to paint will affect costs, so it’s crucial to know exactly what you need to paint before asking for quotes or buying supplies. The size of the area directly affects your pricing, even for simple things like the amount of paint.

Tips to reduce house painting costs

1. Do the job yourself.

The difference between tackling the painting project yourself or hiring a professional can have a significant impact on the total cost of the job. It can cost between $25 and $100 per hour on average for a professional painter, and an average of $0.75 to $2 per square foot if you paint yourself.

2. Be precise in your calculations.

Many people make the mistake of buying too much paint, which costs more up front for supplies that you won’t need. It’s also costly to underestimate the amount of supplies you need. You can often get a deal when buying in bulk, and if you underestimate, it can cost you more to shell out for smaller amounts later on. To determine how much paint you’ll need, try using a paint calculator tool.

3. Heed the advice from the professionals.

If you decide to use a professional painting service, take advantage of their experience and ask for their feedback on the project. Together you can create a plan that works for both your home and your budget.

4. Get references when hiring professionals

It will cost you less to do the job right the first time, so if you plan on hiring professionals, be sure to get references and do your research. Check to make sure the person you want to hire is licensed and read the reviews from their prior customers.

Cheapest isn’t always best. Sure, you could save money up front by hiring the contractor with the lowest estimate, but you may end up having to spend more money to fix it if something goes wrong. You need to weigh things like skill, experience and customer service — along with the price — to get a well-rounded idea of who would be best for the job.

House painting financing options

After you decide on the painting specifics, you’ll need a way to settle the bill. Painting a home is a major expense and the bill for materials and labor can be steep. Cash is a quick, convenient method of payment, but not everyone has thousands of dollars on hand to shell out.

Many homeowners choose to finance the painting project instead with the help of personal loans, home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOC).

Personal loans

A personal loan could be the solution for getting the cash you need without having to put your home up as collateral. Personal loans are usually unsecured, meaning that you don’t have to give the lender rights to your property in case you default on payments. You are offered the loan based on your credit score and financial picture instead.

Personal loans can be a good option, but they can come with interest rates as high as 36% if you aren’t careful. It is crucial to do your research and find the best personal loan rates possible for your project.

Home equity loan

A home equity loan is a popular alternative to paying cash out of your savings for big projects or bills. A home equity loan allows you to tap into the amount of equity you’ve got in your home and uses your home as collateral. You’ll be given the loan in one lump sum and can pay off the principal and interest over time. Home equity loans usually come with lower interest rates than credit cards or unsecured personal loans, so this type of loan can be a great way to finance big projects — as long as you’re sure you can pay it back.

View home equity rates

Tap into the value you have in your home to get the funds you need.

Home equity line of credit (HELOC)

If your painting project comes with a high price tag, using a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to finance it could be the right move. A HELOC allows you to tap into your home equity with a revolving line of credit. A HELOC works much like a credit card; you’ll be given a limit and you can tap into and pay it off several times during the draw period. Be aware, though, that there are HELOC-specific requirements and varying rates, terms and interest. As with anything, it’s important to do your research, but this type of funding allows you to have a revolving amount of cash available at your disposal for large projects.