Cost to Paint

vjrntsFebruary 19, 2008

I have always disliked vinyl or aluminum siding, but I never realized what a bullet I was dodging when I lived in sided houses!

We have a great old 1922 Colonial Revival. It was built onto many years ago, and is now in the shape of a shallow U, with original rectangle of the house at the bottom of the U. We have 2.5 stories, with corner coins and dentil molding. It's a big house (2700 square feet) and there's a lot of complicated work. I realize that.

The painter giving us an estimate has a good reputation as far as I know, and his contract is specific about surface prep, sanding, priming and patching, and caulking. He includes window inspection and reglazing (which surprised me). He will use two coats on both house and trim, and is specific about cleaning up at the end of each day. Lead paint is not likely to be an issue for reasons I won't go into here, let's just take that as given. He will maintain a million dollars of insurance, wants 40% up front with the rest at completion. This all sounds good to me, professional. It's the bottom line that choking me: very close to $14K.

It's a big house, with a lot of trim. But still.... OUCH!

How long should a quality house painting last? If we could get 7 years or more out of it, I'd feel better, but I suspect that that's unreasonable. We live in Western NY, lots of weather here.

I realize that none of you can tell me what to do, but I'm just curious if this amount seems huge to you, too, or if it seems reasonable for a big ole barn with fancy trim.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of the house; the first four are exterior.

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Well, it's usually the paint itself that's guaranteed for a certain number of years, however good or bad the paint job is, within reason. However, the point is you do seem to have quite a large house, and your painter sounds very professional. What you need to do is get at least two other quotes from different contractors so you'll have something to compare his to, get lots of references from him, and then CALL the other people and see if they were happy and don't feel overcharged.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 9:48PM
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Just outside NY (Montclair NJ) we got quotes of $15K + to paint our 1800 SF Victorian, in off white, with white trim and dark shutters (no painted lady!). Now in the Boston area pricecs seem significantly lower - so there may be some regional variation.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:04PM
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No input on the cost of painting, but your house is lovely!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 2:35PM
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Thanks, antiquesilver! We are madly in love with it, and putting money into it that we'll never get back; real estate prices are remarkably stable in this neck of the woods. In 2005 I sold a house that I bought in 1991. It had appreciated 16% in the 14 years I had it, and the realtor thought I had priced it unrealistically high! So, we won't retire on our lovely old barn, but we do love it so.

To help keep things on-topic, does anyone have strong recommendations or strong warnings about specific brands of exterior house paint?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 3:40PM
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I just had my Victorian farmhouse painted in Maryland, near Washington, D.C. I got a lot of estimates and they clustered around $16,000-18,000. I think my house may be about 1 1/2 times larger than yours if I recall the square footage. I went from light to darker colors. They used an oil primer (A100) from Sherwin Williams and (latex) Duration paint. My sister, a house painter in VT, told me (too late) that there have been some peeling problems with Duration since it is so heavy. She recommended SW Super Paint. I was going to go with BM Moorgard, but the estimate came down to the range I mentioned above when I switched to SW. I hope it lasts...

The price you were quoted sounds pretty good to me, especially with the reglazing. The amount they want up front sounds a bit high. I would get several estimates. Painters tend to have their favorite paints, so ask each one what they would use. Most recommended to me using an oil primer (some paint had peeled down to bare wood). (It's okay to use latex paint over an oil primer, just not over oil paint.)

I'll try to post a picture of my house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Locust Grove

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 9:16PM
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Oh my, ellen_n, what a wonderful house, and what a wonderful job you've done restoring those old porches! It's gorgeous! And how lucky you are to have pictures of the interior. I have a few from the 60s and I'm grateful for them, but I'd love to have some from the 20s and 30s.

I will ask my painter what brand of paint he uses (I suspect that it will depend partly on the color scheme I want; I haven't settled yet, other than knowing that I want something other than what I have now), and what the guarantees that come with the paint look like.

To everyone who is giving me the very sensible advice to get other estimates, all I can say is that it's clear that every house painter in the county is independently wealthy, and paints only as a hobby, because it's like pulling teeth to get someone to return a call, and then when they do, making an appointment for the estimate is almost a guarantee of a no-show. I don't get it, not at all. This is not a small job. I can understand why a painter might feel that it's not worth hauling out the scaffolds to do the trim around the second floor windows, but this is a whole house. A big one. So, yes, I'll try, but this guy showed up, gave me an estimate and seems to run his business as a professional... I'm not sure I'll be able to do better.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 11:24AM
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14K is what I would expect. To paint our trim (3 sides of the house- we did not want this painter walking on our slate roof), dormers, small back entry porch, ceiling of screened in porch, and iron work around the house cost us about 3K. We later had the dormer and trim painted on the other side, as well as the trim on our garage for about $500. I would NOT recommend our first painter (simply because he was a bit cocky and rude- despite having a good BBB rating). We are having some interior work done (by the second painter), and would highly recommend this guy.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 10:28AM
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Hey, Mike, what's up?

I think no one but Spiderman could walk on your roof! It's really steep. Gorgeous, but steep!

Could you give me the name of your current painter? You've got my email address, and I'm in the book, or you can write through GW!

Back to the point of this thread; I knew it would be costly. I figured $10K to $12K, so to have it come in $2K above worst-case... ow. I'm not hyperventilating anymore, though.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 12:58PM
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$14,000 sounds a little high. Similar house in my area (Cleveland OH) with slightly less trim around $9,000. Proper painting job will include: pressure wash and wipe down exterior, scape any unsound paint, prep and spot prime any bare wood with 10 mil coat of Peel Bond. Spray 1 coat of 20mil WFT Peel Bond and 2 coats of SW Superpaint flat or SW Resiliance(new)flat. Brush all trim with satin topcoat- 2 coats. Minor carpentry like replacing brick molding is extra. Clean up every day. Wash all exterior windows at the end of the job.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 11:40AM
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Well, out of the blue a painter whom I'd called last fall about painting our house called back, and asked if we wanted an estimate. We did. He got the job. In the end we paid him just a little over half what the other guy had been asking, and this guy stripped almost all the old paint off. There was a LOT of bare wood. He was quite disparaging about the prep for the last time the house had been painted. He suspected that they didn't do anymore than just take off the actual flaking paint.

He's a before and after:


    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 8:17PM
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Just in case it might help someone else, what we do with our old house is to paint one side every two years. It means keeping the same color scheme, but the benefit is that you don't have to pay for the painting all at once. Our house is big, so one side is no small job, and we never have trouble finding a painter. We've used the same guy for the last 10 years or so, through one complete cycle and into the second.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 10:27AM
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Joann, what a great idea. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 9:05PM
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Lovely home!
Just went through this - our home is 1930 Dutch Col Rev.
We live in Fairfield County Ct where everything is overpriced - I got several paint quotes lowest was 10K - highest 17k Still in the final phase - we'll end up about 13k

Went from this

Almost done

Same door - minus yrs of paint

The prep was lengthy - stripping, stripping, stripping (see cedar shake roof which was painted!) - The owners attn to detail & help w/color was incredible - 1st day all storms came off, all shutters, all hardware
each time he was on the job he found more to be done - the far left side of house was an addition in 50's he dug dirt away fr. foundation & painted foundation - the re- chaulked all windows - stripped entire garage (not in pic), stripped 2 exterior doors totally & repainted inside of doors, stripped down front & back porches, stripped shutters (in really bad shape) and many areas of trim & siding - painted all shutter hardware - removed sconces, house #, - did metallic paint to them - as well as knocker, door bell - the repaired EVERY single hole, painted all gutters w/enamel paint - mailbox
Came in rain storm to re-apply the leaders (see pic)

so, my answer to you is really depends on what type of job you are getting - I think we got a really good deal

BTW - don't want to open can of worms but a 1920's home does have lead paint - unless there was an abatement which would mean the entire house trim, doors, siding, porches, windows etc... were stripped totally -
This stuff does find it's way into your house - despite precautions, taping, plastic - Not much came into ours but enough that we did a huge clean up from the attic to basement - lots of wiping w/TSP & vacuuming -

Good luck

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 8:00AM
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vj I love the green with yellow shutters! je Your house looks lovely too. I think you both got incredible deals considering my brother in law insisted on hiring painters of the inside of my mother in laws 3 bedroom condo all one color and no woodwork or peeling paint for $6,000! I figure I could have earned $50/hr if I got paid $2,000. Some people have no money sense.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 12:05PM
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JVJETR, what paint colors did you use on the siding and shutters? The color scheme of your home is one of my favorites.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 5:23PM
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I meant to address that last message to JEJVTR.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:29AM
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I too live in WNY and am about to purchase a 3000 sq. ft. home. Would you mind sharing the contractor's name that you used to paint your house. Additionally, are you still pleased with the outcome? What kind of time frame did he give you as to how long this paint job will last with our Bflo. weather?


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 6:54PM
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Hi Robin. If you write to me (see my page) with an e-mail address, I'll send you the information. I do like him, although he could have been a tiny bit more attentive to details. I still think he did a pretty good job; he prepped for days.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 7:29PM
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I just found this post and have no idea if you are still using this link. However, I love the colors of your beautiful dutch colonial home. I am in the process of selecting colors for our home, and was hoping to find the name of the paint colors you chose for body, trim and shutters.

Thank you!!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:19PM
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We have a rather large Victorian just south of Albany, NY. We took the aluminum siding off late this summer and are having it painted as we speak!
I actually thought my quote was going to be higher--it's 3200sf on the main two floors with a full attic (and the ceilings are very tall...which makes the 3rd story SUPER high...). Three gables, lots of scalloping and tons of thick moulding/bandboard and a gazillion windows.
Quote came out to $8775.

I called two other painters in but they were booked for the fall and the approximate numbers they were giving me were astronomical.

That being said, my painter is part-time, so the job is not quite half done and we're going on four weeks now! Goal is to get entire house with one coat before winter sets in and painters will be back in spring to do the windows and second coat. Ugh.

So I guess you get what you pay for!
Our painter is exclusively Sherwin-Williams (for better or worse!), so we went with an oil-based SW primer and two coats of their new paint, Emerald. I'll let you know how it does!
Right now, I love it! White for clapboards, dark green for some of the trim and shutters, and a sage green as an accent on some of the scallops.

Picking paint colors is HORRIBLE and I absolutely hated the whole process. Too many choices for me and I agonized over it. Much easier picking from 10 choices than thousands!

Best of luck to you! (oh, BTW, I found our painter by driving around the area's cute little Victorian neighborhoods and looking for painter's signs in yards...I figured, if this guy could tackle the giant Victorian in the upscale part of town, he could do ours!)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 8:23AM
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