How Much Does Professional Exterior House Painting Cost?

Should you flex your DIY muscle or go pro? Here’s everything you need to know.

exterior house painting costs 101 plus everything you need to know to budget for your project.

​​Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint. Whether you want to wow with a fetching front door, polish up your trim, or breathe a new life into your siding, painting your exterior is a surefire way to boost your home’s curb appeal and value on the market. At Clare, we firmly believe you have everything it takes to conquer that DIY project on your to-do list; however, we know painting your entire home exterior is a huge undertaking. Sometimes, it might be best to (temporarily) hang up your paint brush and hire a professional.

But wait, isn’t hiring a pro painter expensive? We’re getting to the bottom of it by sharing everything you need to know about exterior house painting costs. Plus, we’re also sharing what to look for in an expert painter.

What’s Included in a Pro Painter Job?

Generally, a professional painter’s fee covers labor and materials. Not only will your painter arrive with drop cloths, power washers, and paint sprayers, but they’ll also have a dedicated team to clean, prep, and paint your home. (Think of it as a white glove service for your home’s exterior.) That said, some painting companies may have different policies or offer different tiers of services. Before you sign on the dotted line or fork over a deposit, ask for an itemized list of what their work will entail.

How much Does Professional Exterior Painting Cost?

Honestly, it depends. Since labor prices tend to vary by geographical location, you could spend as little as $600 or as much as $6,000 for exterior painting services. The key is to get a couple of quotes to figure out what’s typical for your neck of the woods. (For example, rates in New England may be more expensive than they would be in the Midwest.) Some paint companies might charge by square foot, so the size of your home will undoubtedly factor into your toal. And, if your home needs some extra repair like patching lots of holes and cracks, or replacing wooden boards, that’ll cost more, too. 

Another thing that will play a role in your bottom line is the scope of your work. Believe it or not, the trim is often the most expensive part of your house to paint because it requires the most time and attention to detail. The more intricate your trim, the more it will cost to paint it. While painting your home’s siding is by no means cheap, it often costs less than the trim. (We know, wow.)

We know what you’re thinking: That’s a lot of money, and it would be a lot cheaper to paint my home’s exterior myself. However, don’t forget that taking on this project yourself does come with its own price.  For starters, you’ll be responsible for acquiring everything from a power washer to a paint sprayer if you want to keep elbow grease to a minimum. (And, if you don’t think you’ll ever use these tools again, buying these tools may not be worth the investment.) It’s also worth noting that painting your home’s exterior requires a lot of time and energy—and you must be prepared to follow all the directions to the letter. Cutting corners might save you some cash initially, but you might need to go back and redo the entire project a few years later if your preparation or paint application isn’t done correctly. (Talk about a waste of time, energy, and money!)

Torn between embracing your DIY streak and going pro? You can have the best of both worlds. Revamp your house—and shave a little bit off of your bottom line—by painting your front door. Not only is your front door an excellent entry point to painting your home’s exterior, but adding a fresh color is also a time and budget-conscious way to make your property pop. Or, if you’re down to use some elbow grease, you can clean your home yourself.

What Should You Look for in a Professional Painter?

With so many professional painters to choose from, finding the right company to transform your exterior can feel a tad overwhelming. To start your search, make sure that your potential professional’s business is legit—that means bonded, insured, and licensed if mandated by your state. Speaking of license, confirm that a company’s team is filled with licensed contractors. While a licensed business means a company is real, a licensed contractor will give you the peace of mind knowing that they actually know what they’re doing.

Your home’s history will also inform which company you hire. If your home was built in or before 1978, you’ll want to hire a professional who can test your exterior for lead and safely prep your surface for you.

Keep in mind that some states don’t require painters to be licensed, so you’ll want to check with your state’s requirements first. But, no matter where you live,it’s important to hire a professional who is known for providing quality results. While you’re at it, take a scroll through their reviews and social media for real customer feedback. That way, you’ll be able to get a full picture of their offerings and make the best decision for your needs.

Once you find a professional that fits your budget and needs, you can rest easily knowing you’re putting your property in good hands. Now all there’s left to do is kick back, relax, and enjoy your brand-new curb appeal.

Ready to find the perfect color to upgrade your exterior? Explore our designer-curated palette here.


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