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2018 Cost Guide | How Much Does It Cost to Paint A House?

Last Updated Aug 6, 2018 · Written by Rob Schneider


How much does it cost to paint a house exterior? Many factors are involved and no two houses will cost the same. An exterior painter generally likes to inspect the painting work before they give a firm quote. A painterwill look at the square metres first and whether it's a single or two storey house. Then they will take a closer look and determine a cost based on the walls of the house and the detailing needed.

  1. How much does it cost to paint a house exterior?
  2. Why is there so much difference in the cost of exterior painting?
  3. How to get quotes for exterior painting
  4. Choosing an exterior painter

How much does it cost to paint a house exterior?*

One painter has quoted rates of $6000 to $33,000 for different houses and another painter has quoted rates of between $6500 and $11,000 for standard weatherboard houses and $10,000 to $25,000 for Queenslander style homes.

Some typical costs for exterior painting may be:

  • $4000 to $7000 for a bungalow with brick veneer or render
  • $7000 to $12,000 for a small weatherboard home in good condition
  • $12,000 to $18,000 for a small Victorian home

These are prices for smaller single storey homes.

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Why is there so much difference in the cost of exterior painting?

Several factors play a part in the cost of exterior painting:

  • Painters charge by the square metre. A larger home will cost more than a small home
  • The type of exterior wall can have an effect. Brick walls need primer and top coats and may be more expensive
  • Colour can play a part in exterior painting. Light colours over dark colours or dark colours over light colours need more coats of paint
  • The detailing plays a big part in the cost. That's why a Queenslander or Victorian style home costs more than a standard home
  • Some walls need pressure cleaning or hand cleaning before they can be painted
  • Some walls and detailing need repairs before they can be painted
  • Two storey homes may require scaffolding and painters have to take extra precautions when painting a second storey
  • Access problems can cost more

How to get quotes for exterior painting

These rates depend on many factors and you won't know how much a home exterior costs to paint until a painter has a chance to inspect the house. You can get quotes from exterior painters online, but be specific about the details and you will probably get a more accurate quote. Include these details in your description:

  • Square metres of wall surface
  • Whether it's a single or two storey home
  • Condition of the paint
  • The colour of a paint can cost more. Darker colours need more coats if they are painted over a light surface and light colours over a dark surface need extra coats of paint
  • What the walls are made of
  • Any detailing that needs to be done
  • Access problems or sloping blocks

Also mention whether you want doors, window trim, shutters, guttering, fascia, porches and other exterior objects painted. They will add to the cost of painting and the gloss level of the paint may also play a part. If you want a semi-gloss or gloss paint on doors, window trim or other details, it will probably cost more.alt

Painters take materials, supplies, overhead, profit and other factors into consideration. Overhead costs can include insurance and other costs and can be high. While the per metre rate can seem high, they have to factor in all costs and their actual profit may be less than you imagine.

If you have a weatherboard house, some factors that may cost more include:

  • A dirty or mouldy surface
  • Scratches and imperfections
  • Scaffolding, if needed
  • Lead based paints
  • Colour of the paint
  • Painting just one wall

These factors will cost more. If a painter is going to paint only one wall of a home, they have to take travel and setup time into consideration and it will cost more per square metre.

These will help a painter visualise your home, but remember an online quote will not be a final quote. The painter will want to inspect the property first and an experienced painter can give you a firm quote within an hour based on previous experience.

Choosing an exterior painter

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Get online quotes, but don't choose the least expensive exterior painter unless they have the same level of experience as another painter. The lowest rate could actually cost more from an inexperienced painter because they might be slower and they might make mistakes that will need to be corrected. An experienced painter knows exactly what to do in any situation and can probably work faster and more efficiently.

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In New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, painters must be licensed. If you live in those states, check to make sure they have a current licence. Other states do not require licences, but make sure you are hiring a competent exterior painter. Some things to look for include:

  • An initial consultation will help you determine if a painter is qualified. They can also help you choose paint colours based on their previous experience
  • A painter should use quality paints and will mention the brand of paint they use during an initial consultation
  • An experienced exterior painter will give you a firm quote after they have inspected the house
  • Interview the painter and ask how long they have been working in your area. Do they carry insurance? Do they belong to a professional organisation? Can they provide you with references? Do they guarantee their results?
  • Rates are usually non-negotiable. A more expensive painter will not lower their rates to match another painter's quote

A painter who belongs to a professional organisation is probably a serious painter. If they have many years of experience in your area, they are probably experienced painters, but you will also want them to provide you with references. A good exterior painter will be able to give you several and you can inspect the exterior of houses they have painted to see how well it was painted.

Insurance is important because painters are working on your property and should be thoroughly insured. If they are not insured, you may be held liable for accidents or mishaps. A workmanship guarantee is your assurance that the job will be done right and the painter will clean up after they have finished.altChoosing an exterior painter requires some work on your part, but if you choose an experienced painter who can provide you with references, exterior painting can increase the value of your house more than the cost of painting the exterior. Whether your home is brick, weatherboard, timber or another finish, painting will renew the finish.

Many painted brick homes increase in value because they stand out from other brick homes in the neighbourhood. Rendering is another solution, but can be expensive and may not increase the value of your home as much as the cost of rendering. To find out more about rendering a brick home, read How Much Will it Cost to Render My House?

*Costs and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.

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