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How Much Will It Cost To Paint My House

How To Estimate The Cost Of Painting

Recently Jimmy asked for guidance by Email:

I’d like your guidance on how much you think getting a house's exterior may cost. My wife and I put an offer on a house that could use an exterior paint job.


It has Hardy siding and the paint has faded. It was originally built in ’01 so I’m guessing this is the original paint job. The eaves have faded but nowhere do I see any peeling or blistering on the eaves or siding, it’s just faded. It’s a two-story house approximately 2,100 square feet with a two car garage. I know it’s not much to go on but could you give me a range to expect with good painters and good materials?

Thanks for your help…Jimmy

My reply:

Glad to help Jimmy,

We’ll start by calculating the square feet of siding to be painted.

Two stories would be approximately 22-feet tall on two sides and 35-feet tall on two sides = average height per side 114/4 = 28.5 feet tall per side.

On a home your size, the sum of the four sides would be 35+35+50+50= 170

If you multiply the sum of the sides by the average height, you get: 170 x 28.5 = 4,845 square feet of siding to be painted.

Each five-gallon bucket covers approximately 2,000 square feet with one coat.

So, you should expect to use just under three-five gallon buckets per coat on the siding … about five-five gallon buckets if you want two coats.

Siding is usually either flat or satin.

Expect one-five gallon bucket of window and door trim, corner boards and other trim (though you may need several more gallons).

Trim is usually semi-gloss or high-gloss.

And expect about two-gallons of door and shutter paint (though you may need one more).

Doors and shutters are usually high-gloss or semi-gloss.


You can estimate the cost of either Behr or Glidden paint from the numbers above.

The cost of labor relates to your total paint/materials cost.

In your total cost, paint/materials are typically 15-percent and labor is 85-percent.

Simply use those percentages to calculate a fair labor estimate and then negotiate with your painter based upon that estimate.

These estimates are based upon the assumption that your house is fifty-feet long across the front and back, and thirty-five feet long across each side.

Including the two-car garage, this should be a good rough estimate.


Do I paint the garage doors the same as trim or the same as doors?

Either is OK, but I personally prefer the trim color on the garage doors.


You might use the Behr or Glidden online previewer to decide … they allow you to touch the color onto different parts of your home.

Select a color, and then click Preview Paint Colors in lower right of screen

Choose Exterior and you’ll be able to select from several looks similar to your home.

Click the surface to apply paint to the image.

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Posted 2015-08-13T22:29:22+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL Pat_HD_ATL

Ultimately, the cost of a paint job will be determined through obtaining multiple bids from various painting contractors. You will want to give each contractor the same description of what exactly you want to have done: one or two coats, significant color change, any special areas of concern, etc. Without such information, the contractors might not be comparing apples to apples and your estimates might vary wildly.

Home Depot actually has a contractor's referral service which you can access on the Internet at : Home Depot has done some of the pre-qualifying of the contractors. They will be bonded and insured.

Be sure to have the contractor state exactly which brand paint he intends to use and exactly which line of that paint. Most of the major paint manufacturers make a wide range of qualities, from that notorious "contractor's grade" to excellent paints. To use less than the best paint is "penny wise and pound foolish"!

Speaking as a life long painting contractor, my contracts were all inclusive. The bid price included the price of the materials and materials  I did all the "leg work". I asked for no deposit or money up front. Payment was upon completion of the job and the customers complete satisfaction. Beware of any contractor who asks for a large down payment before beginning. work. If the contractor does not have good credit from his suppliers, he is is less than established or reputable.. NEVER GIVE FULL PAYMENT until you are completely satisfied with his work. You lose all leverage once the check as cleared the bank!

You are fortunate to have Hardi-Plank on your home. It takes and holds paint extremely well. It also does not rot or burn and termites get indigestion from it. I have it on my own home and I love the stuff. I just recently painted my siding for the second time after ten years. I chose Behr's Ultra Flat house paint. It looks great and I anticipate it will easily last for another decade or more. I used Behr's new Marquee Satin house paint for the eaves and trim.

Best Answer

Posted 2015-08-14T00:51:30+0000  by ordjen
Hey Ordjen,

I clicked "Best Answer" on your addition to the thread for two reasons:

1) You shared excellent perspective from a lifetime of painting; and

2) You demonstrated the most ethical approach ... your customers paid upon complete satisfaction.

Sharing a lifetime of knowledge makes you among one of our most valued contributors.

Once again, you "Nailed It."

Posted 2015-08-18T14:45:17+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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