What to Expect: Cost to Paint a House

In this in-depth article we'll help you plan your house painting budget.

We are often asked, “what would it cost to paint our house?”

The best way to answer this question is to have us come out for a free estimate, and we’ll walk your property with you.

But it's helpful to have a general idea, so let's look at the factors involved and start to consider a ballpark estimate.

Painting a house isn’t rocket science, yet it’s a little more complicated than many people think. Many variables need to be taken into consideration before we can provide you with an accurate quote. We will need to see the exact areas that you want to be painted, the type of paint that you want to use, and any other work you’d like performed.

What is the cost to paint the exterior of a house?

Before we can provide you with an accurate quote for the interior or exterior paint job for your Seattle home, we will need to walk your property with you and ask you a few questions such as:

  • “What color would you like the front door? How many colors are to be included?"
  • "Do you want us to paint the garage door as the siding color or trim color?”
  • “Would you like to have your gutters painted?”


These initial questions will help us gain an understanding of the overall scope of the job. We’ll then look at the type of house that you have. For example, if you have huge areas of lead paint that are peeling, it will cost differently than a standard paint job. This is why we can’t provide you with an all-inclusive cost per square foot for your house.

There are other important factors that go into our quotes...

What is the average cost to paint a house?

There are many factors that influence the price to paint a house.

Prep Work, aka: "What is the cost to repaint house?"

This focuses on the time it takes to remove loose and peeling paint on a home. The overall scope of work can range from nothing on new construction to scraping a few fasciae ends and priming them (very quick) to three or more painters in full Tyvek suits scraping for a week on the south and west walls of your home in the hot summer sun.  

Does the Existing Paint Test Positive for Lead?

Lead is a dangerous metal element that was used in paint to block UV rays before it was scientifically determined to be very bad for the human body. While we will test any home that’s been built before 1978 for lead, it’s safe to say that if your home was built before 1945, it almost certainly has lead in the base layers of paint, and those will be disturbed during prep work.

In order to follow the EPA guidelines on Lead-Safe Renovation (which we are certified to do), we must create a containment zone around your home to collect the paint chips and dispose of them properly, while protecting you and your family from exposure. Our crews will need to wear respirators and body coverings to protect them from lead exposure. This can add to the overall cost.

How elaborate is the trim?

Do you have four-inch wide trim that we can use a small roller and paint very quickly? Or do you have additional accent colors, such as “French trimmed” windows (where you brush cut the jagged line running along the window frame side against the siding instead of just the outer face of the trim board)? Multi-paned wooden windows? Accented soffits?

The complexity of trim is right behind prep work in the easiest way to raise the cost of a project. There’s no getting around the time that it takes to cut clean lines and add trim features. Simple saves, but with homes that desire to be accented, the additional cost is well worth the investment.

Paint and Materials

What type of paint/product would you like? (better to best and only cheaper if you’re planning to sell). We generally price our exterior repaints with SuperPaint from Sherwin Williams, and this is an excellent quality homeowner grade product.

More premium or top of the line products can add $800-$1500 in material cost to the project depending on the size of the home, and cheaper products (which we don’t recommend, nor guarantee) could save a couple hundred in materials.

Size and Scope of Job

How large is the project? Yes, size does matter. Larger homes require more paint, materials, and hours to complete.

When we consider the average cost of interior painting, one of the factors we need to know then is the painting labor cost per square foot - multiplied by the actual square footage.

What is the access?

Homes built on a level plane with easy access all around can be finished much more quickly than tall homes on sloping tight lots with close neighbors and large mature landscaping that cannot be pruned dramatically. Any issues with accessibility can increase the price to complete a project simply because of the additional labor that must go into conquering those obstacles.

There is no way to provide an accurate estimate of price without knowing some key details about your home, and the best way to find those out is to take 15 minutes and walk around your home with you. Not only will we have the opportunity to inspect the condition of your siding and trim and alert you to any other potential problems you may have, but we will gain a clearer understanding of what you would like done, what colors you’d like to use, and any special considerations to include in the project.

PNW House Painting

PNW House Painting provides our clients with high-quality internal and external painting services.

We back this up with excellent customer service, and through our Two-Year Guarantee on all the houses we paint.

Quality Craftsmanship

You want your new paint job to last a very long time. We will help ensure its longevity through our multi-step prep and paint process. The key to a long-lasting paint job is the prep—and various nuances that are taken into consideration, such as weather, the type of house we’ll be painting, and the surface itself.

Our highly skilled craftsmen treat each job as if it were their very own home. Their attention to detail and dedication to their craft will help ensure that your home looks its very best. Cleanliness is one of the trademarks of PNW House Painting, and we strive to ensure that each job site is cleaned thoroughly throughout the day.

Decades of Experience

When it comes to choosing the right Seattle painting contractor for your home, experience counts. We have in-depth knowledge of how to paint every single kind of Seattle home out there. From Craftsman to Victorian to new construction, we understand the little nuances that can make or break a paint job.

When we provide you with a free quote, we’ll walk the exterior and interior of your home and answer any questions that you might have. If your home has special features, such as lead-based paint, rot, or extensive trim features, we’ll explain how to best go about tackling the job.


Excellent Customer Service

We strive to provide homeowners with the best customer service possible. We start by providing you with a no-hassle quote that clearly spells out the scope of work and the cost. Someone is always available to take your phone call and answer any questions that you might have.

Our craftsmen are professional and courteous and will work hard to ensure the safety of everyone around them. At PNW House Painting, we don’t rush our work. We work diligently and meticulously while we prep and paint your home to ensure a high-quality paint job that will last for a long while.


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your project.

Give us a call 206-737-7727