Painting the exterior of your home is something you need to do every few years to make sure your home looks its best on the outside. If you’re considering selling your home or having it appraised, it’s also an important step to make sure your home is valued properly.

When it comes to the interior of your home the paint job plays a big role in your décor and how your home is perceived. While painting a room on your own might be possible, taking on the whole house can be an overwhelming job and one that isn’t always cost-effective.

However, figuring out how much you should pay for an exterior or interior paint job can be difficult for many homeowners. Luckily there is some basic information that can help guide you through the process of finding a painter and making sure you’re getting a decent deal on your paint job.

Determine Paint Costs

Paint costs might not seem like the biggest part of a job, but if you’re using premium paint they can really add up. Even if you choose a lower grade of paint for your interior or exterior you’ll need two coats of paint for the job to look complete.

Typically a gallon of paint will properly cover about 350 square feet of space. Very dark colors often require a little bit more paint than that too look even. Lighter colors can sometimes use less paint, but that’s still a good average.

Sometimes your painting company can provide paint for you at a discount, but in some cases the cost could be higher than the store. Always ask about the fee per gallon and compare the price to buying on your own.

Paint prices for the interior or exterior of a home can easily range from $300 on the low end to well over $1,500 on the high end.

How Big Is Your Home?

When determining the cost of an exterior paint job you’ll need to know how big your house is. In general, the smaller the home the less the paint job will cost, though there are some caveats based on how difficult your home is to paint.

On the low end of the scale you’ll likely be looking at least $1,500 to paint a home between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet just for labor. On the high end of the spectrum you could be looking at between $3,000 and $5,000 per job. Interiors jobs generally cost about 10% to 20% less because they’re easier on painters and don’t require power washing or heavy sanding.

If you need the job done in a short period of time that could cost extra because of additional manpower that could be needed. If you’re looking to save money, consider a smaller crew that will take a week or so to paint your entire home instead of a big crew that will get the job done in two to three days.

Why Not D.I.Y.?

Painting your home on your own is possible. However that doesn’t mean it’s a cost-effective project for you to take on.

You’ll still have all of the paint costs and you’ll likely need to hire help unless you can take two weeks off work or happen to have a group of friends that wants to help paint your home. That’s an additional cost, and in most places you’re looking at $15 to $20 per hour for that type of labor.

You also don’t have the tools that the painting company has. Renting a power washer could cost you $100 and buying miscellaneous tools that would be provided by the painting company – buckets, trowels, brushes, etc. – can easily run you a few hundred dollars.

When you really crunch the numbers doing the job yourself very well may not be worth it.

Hiring a painting company can boost the value of your home and make it much nicer for you to live in. If you do ever decide to sell potential buyers also like hearing that your home was painted by professionals for peace of mind.

When it’s time to paint inside or outside, hiring a professional painter is usually the right choice.