Staining & House Painting Costs
Most homeowners spend between $269 and $2,514 nationally. Get free estimates from local painting & staining contractors.
Doing your own painting and staining can be an outlet for artistic expression as well as a way to save money. DIY painters can produce excellent results when they thoroughly research paint options, purchase all the necessary supplies, and follow a few specific guidelines to increase the likelihood of success.
Paint a Metal Roof
Select Your Painting & Staining Project
Paint a Home Exterior$2,490average cost
Paint a Home Interior$1,679average cost
Paint a Mural or Tromp Loeil$1,221average cost
Sandblast an Exterior Surface$1,216average cost
Seal a Roof$1,109average cost
Seal a Deck$761average cost
Remove Wallpaper$709average cost
Paint a Small Project$606average cost
Install Wallpaper$486average cost
Power Wash Exterior Surfaces$269average cost
Get free estimates from local contractors for your painting & staining project.
Determining Your Budget
The average cost to paint a house is determined by a few factors. The most important of these are the quality of the paints or stains, the kind of surface you’re planning to paint, and the size of the project. The most common types of projects include painting interior walls, staining a deck or fence, sealing a roof, and painting the exterior of a house.
How much does it cost to stain a house? As an example, consider the process of staining or painting a fence. The cost is determined by the surface area being covered, the difficulty of the job, and the quality of the materials. For the typical homeowner, painting a fence may cost anywhere between $750 and $4,250. The height, length, and condition of the fence all play a significant role in the cost.
However, the choice of coating also factors into the final price tag. Typically, when choosing stain vs. paint, the cost doesn’t matter as much as aesthetic concerns. But in general, paint tends to be slightly more expensive than stain.
Understanding Labor Costs
Professional painting contractors put in a lot of work when they come to your property. Expect labor to be the largest component of the price to paint a house. When painting an exterior, contractors typically charge by the amount of time they expect it to take. When staining a fence, however, the price will be determined by the linear foot or the square foot.
Why Measurements Matter
The larger a house or fence is, the more work and materials will need to go into the project. This is why it’s a good idea to know the square footage of the area you want painted before looking for bids. You’ll have a better understanding of what to expect and a more realistic baseline.
Choosing Different Styles
Painting interior walls all the same color without additional decorative elements can save you some money. However, it may not be the look you want. Choosing additional colors for accent walls or a two-tone effect means a bit more work and cost, so choose carefully. Effects such as patterns, murals, and faux finishes can create a more attractive space but add to your paint price.
Prior to purchasing supplies, a do-it-yourself painter will need to decide on a color and any special techniques or effects he or she would like to create. People who do not already have an idea in mind may wish to browse magazines or search for photos online to determine the desired look. At this point, it is time to go shopping for supplies.
Choosing Paint and Gathering Supplies
While paint is one of the more obvious supplies that will be needed, choosing paint is not as simple as just picking a color. For example, giving your home a new paint job may be a prime opportunity to replace your current paint with a healthier, more eco-friendly alternative that may not have been available when the original paint was put in place. These alternatives are particularly attractive when painting indoor areas.
Oil-based paints and some latex counterparts contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. When some people are exposed to VOCs, they may experience dizziness, nausea, eye irritation, respiratory discomfort or asthma attacks. There is even concern that kidney disease, liver disease or cancer may occur as a result of long-term exposure to these compounds. Fortunately, consumers may purchase low odor/low VOC paints, zero VOC products and even natural, plant-based paints.
People who wish to stain or apply a protective coat to wood floors may also find eco-friendly wood stains that contain no VOCs, are water-based, and free of solvents. As an alternative, natural stains can be made at home using alum and other natural ingredients. The area in which the paint or stain will be used will also have a major impact on the type that will be needed.
Paint and stains that will be used in outdoor areas must be able to withstand the weather. Features to look for in outdoor paints include resistance to mold and mildew, fade resistance, durability and ease of application. Stains should ideally provide a waterproof seal on wood surfaces. These products are also available in environmentally friendly formulas.
Apart from paint, drop cloths, rollers, brushes, painter's tape, base coat and paint trays will be needed. These can all be purchased at a local hardware or home improvement store and are available in various sizes, depending on the size of the area in which they will be used.
After determining the type of paint that will be needed in the desired shade and finish and obtaining all the required supplies, there are other steps that may be taken to ensure smooth paint application with lasting results that are as close to appearing professional as possible. First, dressing appropriately in old clothes and comfortable shoes that will be okay when exposed to paint will increase comfort and minimize frustration. If using a traditional paint with a high VOC content, a mask should be worn over the mouth and nose to avoid inhaling unhealthy chemicals. Outdoor painting will likely require a ladder.
Preparing to Apply a Stain
Prep work for staining will require more effort than painting. Sanding is an important step that must be completed prior to staining a wood floor. It is important to sand evenly and remove all stains, burn marks and other imperfections from the floor during this stage. Any mistakes that are left while sanding will show up when staining; therefore, it is necessary to exercise caution. If in doubt, it may be best to hire a contractor to complete the sanding process.
Getting the Most From Your New Finish
Proper care and maintenance after the project is completed will ensure that you get the best overall results and the longest lifespan. First and foremost, be sure to wait at least two weeks before cleaning the walls. This is the appropriate amount of time for the paint to cure and achieve its maximum durability.
Once two weeks have elapsed, it is safe to use a soft cloth or sponge with mild soapy water to clean any dirt off the paint. Be careful not to scrub too hard or to use an abrasive cleanser. These methods can harm the finish and leave your walls looking duller and less attractive. For stubborn stains or spot cleaning, a paste made from baking soda and water will work on most paints. Use a fresh cloth and clean water to rinse, being as gentle as possible.
If the walls become dirty over time, any cobwebs or dust can be wiped away with a soft cloth. Alternatively, use the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner to gently go over the surface and remove anything clinging to it. By following these steps, you can be sure to get the highest possible value out of a painting or staining project.
Last updated on Jul 2, 2020