How much does it cost to paint the exterior of a house?

Find out the cost to paint the exterior of a house in the UK and decide if you want to tackle this job yourself or hire professional painters

A modern detached home with a painted exterior
(Image credit: Boca do Lobo)

If you're wondering how much it costs to paint the exterior of a house then you're probably looking at dirty or dated exterior walls, right? Working out how much repainting a room will cost can be tricky enough... But with a whole-house repaint, especially if you’re planning one for the first time, it can be so much more difficult to budget correctly. 

Fortunately, we’ve got industry experts on board to help you with your house painting project costing. So, while you’re learning about how to paint the exterior of a house, make sure you work out how much you’ll need to set aside for this project, whether you’re planning on doing it yourself or hiring a professional painter-decorator. 

How much does it cost to paint the exterior of a house? 

On average, having the exterior of an average house painted will cost you around £3,300 if you live in a three-bedroom home. This includes:

  • Scaffolding: around £1,400
  • Painting (includes paint): £1,300
  • Other costs e.g. priming and cleaning: £500
  • Applying for permission to erect scaffolding: £100

How much do painters charge per day in the UK? 

The day rate of hiring a painter to paint the exterior of your house will vary depending on where you live, but expect to pay in the region of £150-200 per day. If you live in London, expect to pay a day rate at the higher end of this range, with the average London day rate for a painter currently sitting at £190, according to Checkatrade

Some painters may charge an hourly rather than day rate - expect to pay around £25-30 per hour.

How much does it cost to paint the exterior of a house yourself? 

The main thing to work out when costing an exterior paint job is how much paint you’ll need. 

Jimmy Englezos, DIY and painting pro and Senior Brand Manager at Ronseal, explains that the amount of paint you’ll need ‘will depend on whether your home is masonry, brick, stone, shiplap or cement renders.’

First, let’s take an average three-bed semi-detached house as a case study. The average size of a three-bed semi-detached house is 90 square metres. One five-litre tin of masonry paint coves 10 square metres in two coats, meaning you’d need ‘around 18 litres, or two 10-litre tubs, for a home face lift.’

A modern new build home with a painted facade

(Image credit: U. J. Alexander / Getty)

A 10-litre tub of masonry tub from B&Q costs £20-£50 (the higher-end masonry paint can provide extra benefits like an ultra-smooth finish or waterproofing and UV protection). So, the total cost of masonry paint for an average three-bed home would be around £40-100.

This is assuming that your house exterior has a smooth(ish) finish to begin with. Bear in mind that ‘shiplap and other rougher materials, given their coarse nature, will halve the coverage of the paint. The cracks and crevices soak up a large amount of the paint compared to other smoother surfaces where the paint will go further.’ So, if you have a coarse render or cladding to your exterior, add an extra tub of paint.

You will have to also factor in the cost of masonry paint brushes and rollers, a safety helmet , a ladder, caulk, filler or mortar, protective sheets and masking tape. Altogether, expect to pay an extra £300-500 for all the equipment and materials. 

So altogether, a DIY exterior house painting job will cost you in the region of £350-600

 Is it worth painting your house exterior yourself? 

Absolutely, if you are prepared to put in the time and effort to paint your home exterior yourself. Englezos admits that “painting the exterior of your home is no easy undertaking’, nor is a masonry makeover ‘a quick job’. If you want to achieve a great-looking façade, you’ll likely spend several weeks painting - less than that if you have help from family or a friend. 

A blue painted house exterior with an arch and red shutters

(Image credit: Elan Irving / Getty)

The hardest thing about painting the exterior of a house is the sheer amount of painting you’ll have to do, and the potential physical difficulty if you have tricky nooks and crannies that need painting. Shiplap or other types of cladding will be more difficult to paint than straightforward brick on concrete, so be realistic about your own abilities and how much time you have to paint your home.

You will need to think about safety and plan ahead. As a bare minimum, you will have to buy a sturdy ladder and a helmet.

Ultimately, ‘you don’t have to fork out for a professional, as long as you research and plan before getting started.’

A shiplap house exterior with front door

(Image credit: TriggerPhoto / Getty)

How long does it take to paint a 3-bed house?

An average three-bedroom house should take about 3-4 days to paint by a team of two to three painters. That said, if your house is larger than average, has multiple stories, or is more unusual structurally, it may take closer to 5-7 days to do the job properly. What you don’t want is a hasty paint job that will start chipping in a matter of months; if you have to pay for a couple of more days but the house then will not need another paint job for a decade, you will save more in the long run. 

Set on DIY painting a house? Expect it to take at least a week, and typically longer than that (allow two weeks if doing it the first time), unless you are already skilled at exterior painting. 

Which will you choose? A more expensive but quicker (and probably better) professionally done facade makeover? Or are you itching to test your DIY skills? It's completely up to you, but be aware of the compromises involved with either option.. 

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.