5 Tips to Save on the Cost to Paint a House

Painting a home is a big undertaking both mentally and financially. To paint the exterior of a 2,500 square foot home that’s two stories, you’re looking at about $4,000. For the interior, it’s nearly $5,500. If you are on a strict budget, trim the house painting cost with these 5 tips to save on the cost to paint a house.

How House Painting Cost Is Determined

Making large financial decisions cost you more than money; they can cost you your peace of mind. Fresh paint is good for your home and creates a solid barrier between you and the elements. Put a new paint job off too long and you could be allowing more damage to occur creating costly repairs.

By planning ahead and pitching in with a little bit of elbow grease, you cut the cost down. When you prepare for your estimate, go in knowing that the cost to paint a house varies on the material you are painting, products and labor requirements. Your project will fall into two categories.


Getting a crew to handle preparation and repairs takes quite a bit of time. Most pros will tell you that ⅔ of on-site time is dedicated to preparation and repairing issues before any paint cans are opened. Sealing, sanding, taping and caulking all takes a lot of time.


Pro painters suggest that moderate to costly paints will provide you a longer life on the walls and carry a guarantee to support it. You can expect to pay $20-$70 per gallon depending on the brand and finish. Paint manufacturers now offer extra durability in the form of mold resistance or washable abilities, which can drive costs up a bit.

Your estimator will most likely suggest a brand of paint that they have used and had good success with over their tenure. These can cost in the range of $50 a gallon on exterior paint. It’s expected to last for up to 15 years.

Estimates should also include all of the other necessary materials for the job like drop cloths, tape, rollers, cleansers and brushes.

How to Save on the Cost of House Painting


It’s a great idea to get more than one estimate on your project. Use referrals to help narrow down options, then book estimates with each. Be wary of overly high or low estimates. You’ll also want the estimate in writing and broken into costs for supplies and labor.

Pitch in

Labor on sanding or repairs can add up quickly. If you are up to the job, why not pitch in? Get some inexpensive caulk, spackle and sanding materials to fix the walls prior to the painters arriving. Repairing a window frame or small wall ding is a relatively doable task for you before you get painters in your house to work. Some painters may balk at a homeowner doing the work, others might just not include the same warranty since they didn’t complete the work themselves.

At your estimate, ask if you can do prep work to cut the cost down some. This includes:

  • Trimming shrubs
  • Moving furniture
  • Removing and reinstalling the outlet covers, switch plates and doorknobs
  • Prep work like patching, sanding and scraping, if you have the skills

Don’t Procrastinate

Waiting too long to paint both interior or exterior can drive up the prices of work. Peeling, flaking and bubbling can result in extra repair time. If you can reduce the hours of work by even a few, that will make a big difference in your bottom line.

Trim the Scope

Once you have selected a painter, trim down the scope of the job. If there are items on the list that are not of the utmost importance, consider cutting them if the job will still remain viable. If your quote includes ceilings, potentially you could get away without painting them and cut your job cost down.

Think Color

Changing colors drastically has the potential to cost more on your house painting. Going from a light or dark to the opposite requires extra primer and more coats for a good outcome. The extra coats mean more supplies and labor hours. If you keep your paint cost lower, try keeping the color to a similar depth and colors. When it comes to outside, deep colors have been known to fade more often. With fading comes painting more often.

If you’re ready for a new paint job at your home, call our estimators for a free, in-home estimate at no obligation to you at 214-812-9053.