The Average Cost of House Painting

The cost of house painting depends on several factors, most importantly what part of the house is being painted. Outdoor house paint needs to be durable enough to withstand a variety of weather conditions, while indoor house paint needs to have very specific reflection and color qualities. Costs are determined by comparing the type of paint with the size of the project and the material being painted. Overall, indoor painting is less expensive than outdoor jobs.

Indoor Painting

couple holding painting tools
woman painting interior of house

Indoor paint tends to less expensive, mostly because it does not need to be as heavy-duty and long-lasting as outdoor paint. Lower end paints cost around $12 to $20 per gallon and can easily be sufficient for a light coat inside the house. Higher quality indoor paint can cost around $30 to $40 or even higher. Having the house painted costs more, between $200 and $400 for a 12 by 12 foot room.

Outdoor Painting

man painting exterior of house

Exterior paint tends to have a higher cost at the lower end of the paint choices than indoor paint, starting around $25 per gallon. However, its prices do not go as high as some of the specialty types of indoor types, and tend to level off around $40 per gallon. Professionals typically charge for an entire house and much more is added for second stories. A single-story house with three bedrooms costs around $1,500 to $3,000 for a professional to paint.

Extra Layers

cans of paint

The price of painting a house should always include the possible cost of extra layers of paint. This refers not only to primer, which is often necessary, but second layers of the primary coat as well. This may be especially true for lighter colors, or thin coats, which need more than one application to become firmly established. This will of course double the amount of paint needed in total.


paint supplies

Tools are an added cost for both indoor and outdoor jobs. Indoor tools include brushes, rollers and pans, and rarely go beyond about $100. Outdoor tools include pressure washers, which can be rented for $50 to $100 per day, and ladders or scaffolding, which can reach $20 to $50 a day. Total costs tend to average around $500 to $600, including tools and washers used over a period of several days.


woman at paint store

Professionals will often offer discounts depending on the painting project. Indoor painters, for instance, will often offer a discount for painting the entire house versus just one room. Discounts may also be available if contractors are hired from the business where the homeowner buys the paint.

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