Preparing Your House For Sale With Fresh Exterior Paint

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The four components of exterior painting includes:

    Exterior Doors/ Shutters
    Decks/ Porches

A three-color paint scheme is fairly typical. One for doors/shutters, one for trim and and one for siding. Wood decks and porches will generally be painted or stained a color that matched one of the other colors used.

The cost of painting these components will vary based on several factors:

    Prep Work Required
    Size of Project (Square Footage)
    Number of Coats of Paint
    Complexity of Project (Intricacy of Detail)
    Difficulty of Project (Heights or Difficult to Reach Locations)
    Type of Paint Required/Used

The most commonly ignored variable is the prep work. The amount of preparation required prior to painting can literally double the cost of the project. Preparation may involve things such as: pressure washing, caulking siding joints and seams, scraping old paint, caulking nail holes, etc.

Below are general figures that will factor into exterior paint pricing. Don’t use this as a direct pricing formula, but this should give you some idea of the costs:

    A typical mid-grade quality paint will cost about $20-$40 per gallon.
    Materials will cost about 20% of the total cost of the project.
    Prep work will generally add between 50-150% of the cost of the project, depending on how much work is needed prior to painting.
    Due to the intricacies involved, painting trim will generally cost about 50% more than painting siding.
    Hand brushing will generally add 25% or more to the cost versus spraying. (Hand brushing provides a longer lasting paint finish.)
    One coat of paint is typically enough for the exterior but, if you are going from a very dark to a very light color (or vice-versa), you may need two coats of paint or a coat of primer prior to painting.
    An extra coat of paint will generally add 25% or more to the project cost.
    Prices are generally lower between October and March when fewer people are considering exterior painting and painting contractors have lighter schedules.

By Dana Ash-McGinty

Dana Ash-McGinty is the Principal Broker of ASH | MCGINTY, a Washington, DC Real Estate Brokerage. This real estate maven has 15+ years experience in residential, commercial and land sales in addition to multi-state residential renovation, re-zoning, and condo conversion projects. A sought after real estate authority, she has been featured on CNN and in various real estate and financial publications. Dana is married to the highly esteemed Dr. Dana W. McGinty, a Washington, DC internal medicine physician and medical correspondent. They are often referred to as "The Danas".