How Much Does it Cost to Paint The Exterior of a House?

As with all projects you need to know roughly how much it will cost before you start thinking further.

No one wants to be hit with a nasty surprise when they get the final invoice, and you also want to know the basics when you’re figuring out if an estimate is reasonable. Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through. 

The cost of exterior house painting depends on size 

Square footage to be exact. It’ll come as no surprise that the bigger the building, the more time and paint is needed. What may come as a surprise is how a painter figures out the size of your home. 

We’re far more used to counting the number of floors and rooms than we are external square footage, but it’s square footage that matters when it comes to painting.

A very rough way to estimate it is to multiply the height by the width of your wall and then times it by four. This assumes your home is a box with even shaped sides, but it gives you a starting point. 

Complex layouts cost more to paint  

Square footage means more paint is needed, and a complicated layout that involves ladders and scaffold towers means it’ll take that little bit longer. Every professional exterior home painter will factor this into their quote or estimate, allowing you to see what you can get for your money. 

Trim, windows and doors will also need to be factored in because they will require different paint and take longer. While a sash window frame may have a tiny square footage compared to a gable wall, it can’t be rushed if you want an end result you love. 

What’s a typical cost to paint a home’s exterior?

As a very rough guide to get you started, you can expect to pay in the region of £2,000-£3,000 to rework the paint job on a standard three-bedroom house.

While rough estimates like this are useful guides, there’s a number of key points you need to consider: 

  • The average price to paint a square metre of a UK home is £25-£40 
  • You can expect prices to vary by region due to the cost of living 
  • Specialist paints will cost a little more but are often worth it 
  • Some painters charge more than others because they’re in higher demand 

If you consider all of these factors you’ll be able to quickly and easily assess whether the price you’re being offered represents real value for money or not. A little inside knowledge from the professionals really does go a long way. 

How do you secure the best price to paint an exterior?

Advanced Painters specialises in simple, honest pricing that’s fully transparent at every stage. Ideal if you want to hire an expert team who will take care of the hard work and make sure you use nothing but the perfect paint for the job. 

The Average Cost of Exterior House Painting

The cost to paint the exterior of a house can vary quite a bit depending on several factors, but you can expect to pay between $1,800 and $10,000 for a typical single-family home.

The size and square footage of your home is one of the biggest factors that determines the cost. It’s simply more paint and more work for the painters, so larger houses tend to cost more.

The number of stories also plays a role. Painting a multi-level home, especially if it involves heights, will cost more than a single-story ranch.

The condition of your home’s exterior surfaces is important too. If there are lots of cracks, holes or damage that require patching and repairs, that adds to the workload and cost.

Pressure washing and priming also add to the total bill. Speaking of primer, the type of paint you choose factors in as well. Premium paints with primer already included are more expensive than basic options.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Exterior Painting

The cost of exterior painting can vary quite a bit depending on several factors.

The size and number of stories of your home is a big one. A larger house with multiple floors will require more paint and labor, driving the price up. You’ll also pay more for details like trim, shutters, and railings which require extra effort.

The current condition of your siding and trim also matters. If there’s damage that needs repairs or rotted wood that needs replacement, you’ll be charged for that in addition to the painting. Freshly prepped surfaces may allow for fewer coats of paint, reducing costs.

The quality of materials used impacts the final bill. Higher quality, name brand paints provide better coverage and durability but come at a premium price. Eco-friendly paints made of natural ingredients tend to cost more as well.

Geographic location plays a role too. Painting contractors in areas with a higher cost of living and demand for services will charge higher rates. Rural or suburban areas may offer lower prices.

Lastly, the level of detail and special effects desired make a difference. A simple coat of paint will be far less than a custom color blend, or special finishes like stenciling, distressing or faux finishes.

The cost of exterior paint can vary greatly depending on the quality and sheen you choose. In general, you can expect to pay between $30 to $50 per gallon for exterior paint. The total cost will also depend on how much paint you need to cover your home’s exterior.

To determine how much paint you need, you’ll need to calculate the square footage of your home’s exterior walls.

Measure the height and width of each wall and multiply to get the square footage of each one. Add up the totals for all walls to get the total square footage.

On average, one gallon of paint will cover around 250 to 400 square feet. So if you have a typical small house with around 1,500 square feet of exterior walls, you’ll need 4 to 6 gallons of paint for two coats.

  • Flat paint is the most affordable and provides minimal sheen. It works well for covering imperfections but isn’t very durable. Expect to pay $30-$40 per gallon.
  • Satin or eggshell paint has a soft, velvety sheen and is more durable and moisture-resistant than flat paint. It costs $35-$50 per gallon.
  • Semi-gloss paint has a medium-level sheen and is even more durable and washable. It costs $40-$60 per gallon.
  • Gloss or high-gloss paint has a shiny, highly durable finish but imperfections in the surface will show through. It costs $50-$70 per gallon.

Additional Costs to Consider

When budgeting for exterior painting, the cost of the paint itself is just the tip of the iceberg. Several additional expenses contribute to the total cost. Be prepared for these extra costs so your painting project stays within budget.

Paint Supplies

In addition to the paint, you’ll need painting supplies like brushes, rollers, painter’s tape, drop cloths, and trays. The quality and types of brushes and rollers can significantly impact the final result, so don’t skimp here.

You’ll also want high-quality painter’s tape for crisp lines and drop cloths to protect landscaping. These supplies can cost $50 to $200 or more, depending on what you need.

Equipment Rental

For high areas like the second story or trim work, you may need to rent equipment like scaffolding, lifts or tall ladders. Pressure washers are also commonly rented to clean and prepare the surface before painting.

Renting this equipment typically costs between $50 to $500 per day. If possible, try to budget for enough rental time to complete all areas that require equipment in one reservation to avoid multiple delivery fees.


For the best results, priming bare wood, repaired areas or when drastically changing paint colors, budget for a coat of primer. Primer helps the new paint adhere better and provides an evenly colored base coat. Primer costs between $30 to $50 per gallon.

Repairs and Preparation

Before painting, thoroughly clean and repair the surface. Power washing can cost $200 to $500. Budget for caulking, wood filler, and patching compound to fill any cracks, holes or seams, which typically costs $20 to $50 total.

Light sanding and deglossing of any glossy trim should also be included, costing around $20 for sandpaper and deglosser.

• Proper surface preparation accounts for about 90% of a paint job’s quality and longevity. Don’t cut corners here to save a few dollars.

• For the best results, choose high quality paint and supplies, even if it means reducing the square footage to stay within budget. The final outcome will be worth it!

Ways to Save Money on Exterior Painting

There are several ways you can reduce the cost of exterior painting. Every little bit helps, right?

Buy paint during sales

Paint stores frequently run sales, especially in the spring and fall. Stock up on your chosen exterior paint color during a sale and you can save 20-50% off regular retail prices.

Just make sure you buy enough paint for your whole project at once, since color variations can occur between batches.

Consider a lower-cost paint

If you’re on a tight budget, choose a lower-cost exterior paint. Solid color stains, acrylic paints, and vinyl acrylic paints typically cost less than premium urethane paints.

While they may not last quite as long, you can still get 10-15 years of use from a lower-cost paint. For the best value, look for paints that offer a lifetime warranty.

Do some of the work yourself

You’ll save a lot of money if you do the surface preparation and painting yourself.

Things like pressure washing, patching holes, caulking cracks, and minor repairs don’t require professional skills. Then you can hire painters just for the actual paint application.

Provide the paint and supplies and their time on-site will be less, so your total cost will be lower.

Paint only damaged or worn areas

If your exterior paint is in fairly good shape, you may only need to paint areas that show signs of damage or weathering. Have a pro inspect your exterior and provide an estimate for spot-painting problem areas.

They can closely color-match your existing shade so you get a uniform look without the cost of a full repaint.

Ask for package deals

Many professional painting companies offer package deals, especially in the off-season. You may be able to get discounts when bundling together power washing, repairs, painting, and staining.

The more services in the package, the higher the potential for savings. It never hurts to ask the company for their best overall price—you could save hundreds of dollars.


So there you have it, a crash course in how much you can expect to pay for exterior house painting. As you can see, there’s quite a range depending on the size of your home, the number of stories, and the quality of materials.

But at the end of the day, a fresh coat of paint on the outside of your house can do wonders for your curb appeal and make you fall in love with your home all over again.

If cost is a concern, look for ways to save like doing some of the prep work yourself or choosing a more basic paint. Or you may decide that for a project of this size and impact, it’s better to leave it to the pros to ensure a quality job and outcome.

Whatever you choose, enjoy seeing your place transform before your eyes and knowing you’ve invested in protecting and beautifying your biggest asset. The new look will make all that effort and expense worthwhile.

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Advanced Painters

Advanced Painters are professional painters and decorators in the Home Counties. From exterior painting and rendering, to uPVC window spray painting and interior decorating, we produce high quality finishes that will transform the appearance of your property.

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