How to Hire the Best Home Exterior Painter

It is that season again and many people are looking to hire the best home exterior painter.  Choosing a paint color scheme for your home’s exterior is a huge undertaking. Then testing the colors in your environment to be sure there are no tricky undertones. By the time you’re ready to choose a painter for the job, you’re exhausted! Finding the perfect painter is just as important and finding the perfect color.  Whether you’re painting brick, siding, stucco, or stone, a diligent search is worth the effort and may be the difference between loving your freshly painted home and being a bit disappointed.  

Our brick&batten design team can help with finding the best paint color for your home’s exterior, based on your home’s style and your personal preferences; however, finding a painter is up to you! 

That said, we have done some digging, interviewing local painters and suppliers, as well as reached out to some friendly brick&batten clients.  We’ve discovered some great tips on how to hire a home exterior painter!

hiring a painter

How to Hire a Home Exterior Painter:

No. 1//  Get 3 Estimates.

Getting estimates for your paint job is a huge part of a successful outcome. Prices vary tremendously.  I would definitely ask neighbors for suggestions or even put feelers out on Facebook and NextDoor.  If this isn’t possible and you’re not getting anywhere, try looking into the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PCA).  By using your address, the PCA will recommend painters they have identified that stand out from the crowd. After doing your research, we recommend getting 3 estimates.

No. 2//  Ask Questions.

Ask each painter you “interview” questions about their process. If a painter is confident in their skillset, they will be happy to answer your questions in a positive and helpful way, while listening to your needs.  

Important questions to ask:

  1. Are you licensed and insured?
  2. Is everyone working for you licensed and insured?
  3. What brand of paint are you using?
  4. Why do you use that particular brand?
  5. How long will the project take from start to finish?
  6. Are prep work, clean up, and supplies included in the quote?
  7. Is there a warranty for the work?
  8. Do you specialize in one area? Brick? Stucco?
  9. Will you help me with testing colors in my environment?
  10. Do you subcontract the work to another company or will you be on the job?
  11. What type of payment plan do you offer? Is it quarter now, quarter at half, and half when I’m satisfied with your work? Do not pay everything up front.
  12. Is there anything I need to know that I’m forgetting to ask?
  13. What makes your company/ process better than _____?
  14. Ask about a contract which holds everyone accountable for what you’ve discussed.

No. 3//  Get to the Bottom of What the Estimate Includes.

Estimates typically include all the supplies to complete the project. As well as prep work, such as: power washing, cleaning, patching, sanding, caulking, preparing the house, and the clean up. That said, most of the time, is not every time… 

Generally, the most time consuming and expensive part of painting is the labor involved with preparing your home’s exterior for paint.  A good painter will take a critical look at the area being painted to be sure it’s ready.  Most of the time, power washing, sanding, and caulking, etc. is needed.  Be sure your estimate includes prepping your house for painting. You don’t want any surprises because you didn’t ask questions.

hiring a painter

No. 4//  Calculate Costs of Supplies.

Calculate the cost of supplies for completing the job.  Is it less expensive for your painter to get the supplies and you reimburse him or her?  Calculating costs of supplies is difficult without doing research.  Painting stucco is a different ball game than painting siding. A limewash finish is different than the typical painting brick. Price varies depending on the surface  painted and the brand of paint used.  The national average for paint material and job supplies for a 1,500 square foot home ranges from $500-$800.  

We always recommend sampling and testing paint colors before committing. Factors such as natural lighting, undertones, and your property’s fixed elements will have a significant impact on how a color will appear on your exterior. Our friends at Samplize offer extra-large 9 x 14.75 inch peel-and-stick paint samples of the colors we love for exteriors. Order your ‘Real Paint, No Mess’ samples from Samplize here.


 No. 5//  Have a Reasonable Estimate in Mind

Again, you don’t want any surprises.  That said, have an idea in your mind of a reasonable estimate to paint your house. House painting costs vary depending on what part of the country you live in, the time of year you’re doing the painting, the material you’re covering with paint, the size and type of house being painted, and the product you’re using.  Find out what most people spend in your area.  You want to know if your estimate is fair when it is proposed to you. 

We recently had a client in Missouri that obtained 3 estimates for painting her 4,000 square foot wood siding house.  The first estimate was $60,000. The second estimate was $10,000 and the third was $30,000.  That’s a ridiculous discrepancy!  Be sure you know better!  

painting cedar siding

At brick&batten we tell clients, “Generally, the paint is cheap. The painter is expensive.” 

No. 6// Figure out How Long It Takes to Paint a House Exterior.  

The range of time it takes to paint a house varies; therefore, it’s definitely a question to ask when you’re getting estimates for your project.  The couple I mentioned above wasn’t in any hurry.  It took their painter nearly 5 months to complete the work because of his small crew and 3 hour days. 

Think about:

  1. Are you hiring a crew of two or five? The number of people working will definitely speed up the process.
  2. Is the crew working full days or just a few hours everyday?
  3. Painting is weather dependent so if the weather isn’t cooperating it will hold up the process.
  4. According to our brick&batten clients, most say it took three to six days with a crew of two to three painters.  There are 2-3 days of cleaning and prep work, followed by 2-3 days of painting and cleaning up.
Limewash exterior

The bottom line, we tell clients at brick&batten, it’s just as easy to paint your house the right color as it is the wrong color. It’s important to get it right! Our brick&batten designers are experts in selecting paint colors.  Choosing the correct colors for your home’s architecture and environment is critical. After choosing the paint color, finding the best exterior painter makes the difference between a good and great outcome! Your home is your largest investment. Your choices should be intentional and thought out.

Learn more about our virtual exterior design services, or get started on seeing your home before you commit to a new paint color right here.