How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House?


The cost of painting a house can average between $5,685 to $6,749. Customers often ask for a square footage cost based on the size of their home; when in reality, it’s the square footage of the wall surface that we base our calculations on. This is why we measure when we provide a quote. Other factors can also influence the cost to paint a house.

Exterior vs Interior

In addition, the cost to paint exterior of house is calculated differently than the cost to paint interior of house. So, how can you budget for your home maintenance or remodel? My formulas for the cost to paint a house are proprietary and I really don’t want to give my hard-earned calculations to my competitors, so I’ve done the next best thing. I searched my records for the costs of the past 20 interior and 20 exterior paint jobs. These amounts encompass a variety of jobs and are a base for knowing the average cost, big or small:



Exterior of house painted by Sisu


Portion of interior painted by Sisu

Contributing Factors

Many factors contribute to the cost of painting a house: the size of the project, the detail involved, the number of colors, the age of the home, the amount of prep work, and so on. Recently, we painted a stairwell for $350 and the owner supplied the paint. We also got paid over $18,000 for painting the interior and exterior of a new build pool house. All in all, the best way to get the cost of your painting project is to schedule a bid.

If you’re just looking to have a room painted, the average price to the paint walls of a 12’ x 12’ bedroom with 8-foot ceilings is about $556 for a two-coat color change. If you paint more rooms, the price can come down, so there’s always that to consider. The time of year can affect pricing. Currently, we are running a 25% off special because our exterior season is over and we naturally slowdown in the winter. This discount brings the cost of interior house painting way down. We hope this information helps you to budget your painting project.

Waterborne vs Oil-Based Paint That is the Question

Waterborne vs Oil-Based Paint That is the Question


Water-based paints have come a long way since they were first introduced in the 1940s and 50s. Today we use water-based paints on exteriors because oil-based paints tend to get brittle and will crack and peel. Interior wall and ceiling paints are almost exclusively waterborne paint with few exceptions. But, when it comes to trim paint, the options become a little broader and occasionally oil-based paint is appropriate.

As waterborne products become more advanced, the oil-based options seem to dwindle.

Here’s what we love about oil-based paints

Example of oil-based eggshell sheen

  1. Best sheen – nothing compares to the sheen of oil-based paints. It is sophisticated and subtle and has an appearance you cannot attain with water-based products
  2. Best leveling properties. The paint takes longer to dry so it levels out better, especially when brushed. This makes for a beautiful finish that’s hard to achieve with the water-based product

What we don’t love about oil-based paint

  1. It’s bad for the environment – oil-based paints have VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) that gas off and pollute the environment
  2. The finish yellows over time. Recent regulations lowering the VOC content allowed in paint has increased the amount of yellowing that we encounter
  3. The finish gets brittle and will chip and chip and crack over time. This problem has also increased with the recent regulations
  4. The finish does not clean well. The paint will pick up grime and oil that is impossible to keep clean. This problem is especially bad on cabinetry, which tends to be a high traffic area
  5. The finish does not touch up well

What we love about waterborne paints

  1. Waterborne paints are more durable than oil-based products
  2. The product dries quickly
  3. The finish does not yellow over time
  4. The product touches up easily
  5. The paint cleans up with water
  6. The finish is easy to maintain
  7. The product sprays out beautifully

What we don’t love about waterborne paints

  1. Waterborne paints don’t level as well as oil-based paints, so they show more brush strokes and stipple if painted by hand
  2. The sheen is not as nice as oil-based paints

The hybrid water-based enamels on the market, called modified alkyds are performing quite well. The drying time is a bit slower, so they level better. We love these products for their durability, ease of application and beauty.

Benjamin Moore Advance Satin Water-Base Acrylic-Alkyd PaintSherwin Willaims ProClassic Water-Based Acrylic-Alkyd Paint

I prefer to use oil-based over waterborne paint on trim, if the house has historical significance and the paint will be applied with a brush. Brushed oil-based paint is lovely and gives the look that older homes seem to call for, especially if you are not painting the entire house. It’s always best to keep the finishes as uniform as possible. If you have previously hand painted oil-based paints that you are matching up to, then I recommend sticking with the oil-based products.

If you need help deciding which paint will be appropriate for you next painting project, we are just a phone call away and we are always happy to help where we can.

Until next time,