How Long To Paint Exterior Home Yourself

How Long To Paint Exterior Home Yourself?


Inquiring how long it takes to paint your exterior home yourself. Time will be dependent upon how much effort, experience, also how much proper equipment you plan using. As all three criteria are direct factors to length of time it takes, painting entire exterior.

Before getting into bulk of information, I must give you accolades, even considering painting your home's exterior yourself. A huge undertaking, no matter how much time it takes.

Have met many over the years, who initially plan to paint entire exterior themselves, but stop for various reasons. Either finding it's too much work, not enough time, or not saving near as much as originally thought. Later finding a painting company to pick up where they left off. Saving a tremendous amount of time hiring professionals, who in fact paint with correct tools, experience, also much more energy.

Your neighbors may see you outside for days, weeks, or even months if you decide painting entire siding, soffit, & trim with a two inch brush. This will eat up much of your spare time. Spare time you might otherwise use for something else.

How Long It Takes Painting Exterior Home Yourself?


When painting your home with your own efforts, knowing how long it takes, not getting overwhelmed, best staying focused and on schedule. Careful planning, preparation is first important step. Having a roadmap checking off each task, before moving on to the next is key.

Normally, pro painters can paint a typical exterior home 2-4 days, whereas a homeowner painting same home may require 2-3 weeks.

Many reasons time varies how long it takes painting an exterior, laying the groundwork  below. But before we do, like to mention painting your exterior is a huge job. Following all proper steps to ensure that prized amount of exterior paint you've just purchased, will last it's printed warranty, many years to come.

Not to discredit anyone's ability, but have seen this countless times with just about anything, having a novice doing something that a professional can do in half the time.

I could actually write a book about how long something takes, but instead, have written about house painting. Combining much of my writings, encompassing many of them into this article, most are related how long it will take you preparing walls yourself.

But after reading this, you may think "Oh boy, what am I getting myself into? I can think of a million things I'd much rather do than paint my home. One of them is time".

You might want to bookmark this article with your iPhone or Android. Referring back to it as you move forward through painting your exterior.

Many variables and/or preparations listed below, will have a direct impact how quickly you paint your exterior home yourself.

How Long To Properly Paint Your Exterior Home


Do You Have Painting Experience?

Knowing your time is valuable, understanding what is required, how much time you'll need to spend, fitting this precious time into your schedule. Here to help, laying everything out, reading this article could limit you countless hours. Saving you tons of money in the long run, knowing how to paint an exterior house yourself.

Length Of Time Painting Equals

  •  Effort
  • Experience
  • Equipment
  • Weather conditions

How long it takes, reminds me of painting a home in Aurora, Colorado several years ago. Our team of seasoned painters mobilized on a home one sunny summer day, power washing, then coming back, starting homeowner's exterior paint program.

Our team of painters got with it, scraping, filling, caulking, priming, masking windows, and areas not to receive paint. Taking only four or five days, painting a home of moderate size, about 2500 sq. ft. two story.

Upon completion, walking up to the door, picking up a check for our work, homeowner was trilled, getting her home professionally painted. Later in our conversation I understood another reason why she was so happy.

How Many Days Needed To Paint Your Home's Exterior


Hearing her explain, just last year the neighbor across the street had his house painted, as our client watched daily, taking close to three months! She told me their painter used a small brush, brushing entire home!

Thinking what they witnessed across the street was a standard, dreading to have painters everyday on their property many weeks. Glad she chose us, not wanting painters on their property all summer long.  So happy  they decided on Eco Paint, than anyone else, especially that inexperienced painter.

Yes, your time is limited, needing to know just how long does it take to paint a house exterior by yourself? Generally, completing all preparations before actually picking up a paint brush, or spray wand will take 60% of entire job, while actually painting is 40%.

When it's time for painting, after all preparations have been completed, painting walls is half the time it takes painting trim, as trim is generally painted by hand.


Remembering this, stuck in my head, making a lasting impression, even though someone else, this was conveyed to me, knowing it still happens if not careful. Experience is half the battle, giving you more comfort what you are doing. This is why we have in place in our paint proposals an estimated number of days needed, also estimated number of painters we plan putting on the job, staying within our estimations.

Normally taking 3 to 4 days with 3 to 4 painters completing a typical home outside, or 72 to 256 man labor hours. This is with professional painters, doing this day in and day out with much experience, utilizing proper equipment, also painting knowledge. These numbers can easily increase number of days, without proper knowledge, also using incorrect painting equipment.

Weather effects number of days painting exteriors in every instance also. Even with everything else in place, a rainstorm, or drastic temperature conditions will put a halt to your progress. Haven written a few articles on this subject, being either too hot or too cold to paint outside, these situations will indeed slow down, increasing the number of days to complete. Those two articles can be seen below.

Is It Too Hot To Paint Outside Home's Exterior?

Is it Too Cold to Paint Outside? Know Facts

How Much Painting Effort


The amount of effort, labor, or toil you provide painting your exterior has another direct relation the quality, and final outcome of complete painting job. However, the better condition your exterior wood siding & trim is in, the less effort, or physical drudgery you'll need to provide.

There is a minimum amount of work to actually paint anything. Using techniques, correct equipment, your efforts can lessen to whatever is required, completing much more smoothly. Your painting efforts will vary widely from cleaning surfaces first, removing aged failed paint, to caulking & masking all areas not to receive paint over-spray or paint splatters. As you can see, painting your exterior will require you wearing several different hats.

Painting Efforts Include

  • Power washing, Cleaning
  • Scraping Old Failed Paint
  • Filling, Caulking
  • Priming, Sealing
  • Masking Windows, Doors, Glass, & Concrete

Do I Really Need To Power Wash Exterior


If you haven't cleaned all exterior surfaces within last 6 months, highly recommend you do, before painting outside. Reason for this is not wanting to trap any dust, dirt, or debris under paint layer. Depending where you live, dust is in the air more than you think. Wood siding is a magnet for dust. Even though from first glance siding & trim may look clean, once you put water on it, you'll see just how dirty it is.

Looking back to many exteriors here in Denver we've painted, making power washing a prerequisite in our first steps painting exteriors, we almost always witness brown dirty water streaming down as we power wash. If you don't have a high pressure power washer, even using a jet stream out of a garden hose is better than doing nothing at all. So even questioning, if you should power wash house before painting, makes perfect sense.

How Long Will It Take To Scrape Exterior Yourself

Depending on how much old cracked, peeling paint you have will determine how long you'll need to allocate for this important, but mundane task. Just as scraping can be boring, removing failed paint that is coming off, or about to come off will ensure your new paint it's published warranty.

Paint Is Not Smart

In the painting scene, a favorite saying among pro painters is "Paint Is Not Smart", followed by "Paint Is Only As Good As What It Is Covering". If you think applying new fresh paint over paint that has failed, without removing it, you'll be in for an unfortunate surprise very soon.

Do you need to scrape all old paint off before painting? A universal answer is No, this is not necessary. You only need to remove all paint which has failed. Most of the time, just selected, problem areas, where paint has been compromised , must be removed.

I know this is a subject everyone loves doing, so will make it as entertaining, & painless as I can. Hopefully you do not need to scrape every bit of exterior paint off of your siding.

You also need to scrape all paint not adhering, bonding properly. Loose, cracking, peeling paint needing to be abrasively removed, before painting over old paint on wood, showing you below.

These scraping techniques will give you the upper hand (no pun intended) rasping off paint, before painting your surfaces.

So again, depending upon how much needs to be scraped, will give you a good idea how much time is needed for this important step, painting your exterior.

From a home in fairly good shape, you might spend a few hours, whereas a home in desperate need, paint cracking, peeling everywhere, you might need to spend a few days.

How Much Time Needed To Fill & Caulk All On Your Own


Generally, a typical home's exterior will need 18 to 24 tubes of caulk, also maybe a quart size tub of Crawford's™ Exterior Spackle. Using this amount will require 4 to 6 man hours applying, depending the height, and size of cracks. Always good to wipe excess off with a clean, damp rag, giving a smooth appearance. This will take up a little more of your time, but well worth it.

Filling gouges, imperfections, sanding smooth, and caulking yourself, you want to be as efficient and thorough as possible. Reason for this is not wanting any moisture to find it's way under new paint. So sealing these cracks and crevices before painting is mandatory. Using fillers and caulk before painting is time consuming. However is extremely important warding off moisture which can migrate into wood's structure.

Time Required Priming & Masking Exterior Yourself

Now you've already spent 8 to 12 labor hours just getting ready to paint, you still need to protect patched and scraped areas by priming. Consider between 1 to 3 hours priming, more time if really bad trim boards around your home. Giving your finish coat something better to adhere and grab to than bare wood. We call this spot priming, as most of the time a typical exterior does not need a complete primer coat, only areas of concern.

Masking will be well time spent! Ordinarily 4 to 5 hours for 2 or 3 skilled painter's helpers can completely mask a home's exterior. Masking windows, light fixtures, foundation, vegetation, also concrete, decks, and surfaces not to receive paint splatters or over-spray. Good idea to have ample masking materials on hand, not wanting to run out, holding up progress of this important painting step.

Usually, having a case (12) rolls of 12'' brown paper, hand masker, 2 cases of masking tape, painter's plastic, canvas drop cloths, not to forget sharp razor knives will get you on the right track.

Do You Have Proper Painting Equipment


Have to ask you, as I would have asked the painter across the street if we saw him/her, do you have proper paint equipment. Evidently not, if someone is painting entire exterior with a 2'' sash brush, almost being laughable.

Painting Hand-tools

Having recommended painting equipment assists the ease of laying on paint the most efficient means possible. Correct width of brushes, rollers, masking tape, ladders, paint sprayers, to brown paper.


Remember not trying to paint your entire exterior with a wienie roller, or you will not want seeing another for quite some time. Not only taking too long, but using an entire pallet of wienies, as these wear out fairly quickly.

Even plastic sheathing comes in different thicknesses also widths. Typical painter's plastic can be found in 9' width X 400' long, having mil thickness of one half of a mil.

If you do not know what best painting tools to use, you can always get advice at your local paint store outlet. Counter help knows what sells best, most popular from brand of brushes, rollers, and other painting equipment.

Wooster™, Purdy™, 3M™, Bestt Liebco™ are just a few top paint tool manufactures helping paint industry get paint out of the buckets, on to the walls.

Ladders & Sprayers


Most widely used paint sprayers are Titan™, and Gracco™. Both come in different output volumes, so again, asking your local Sherwin-Williams paint store manager what you will need is very beneficial. Telling them what & how much you'll be spraying, can be easily matched up to proper model.

As far as ladders are concerned, three manufactures come to mind. Warner™, Lil Giant™, and Louisville™. These are the most popular, widely purchased throughout the country. All 3 are very high quality, very well built, in A frame, or extension. Some come in aluminum or fiberglass in various lengths.

For your safety, always get a ladder 2' higher than what top height paint surface is. This is true especially up on a side of home, near the gutter. Extending your ladder at least 2' higher, so you can easily get up, then down with highest safety.

From knowing how to extend long reach ladders, to proper angles. If you are uncomfortable doing this, better let the professionals handle the high work. However, most reputable painting contractors & teams of painters much prefer painting entire exteriors, not just soffits, gutters, and trim.

Gaining as much information as you possibly can as you question how to paint your exterior house yourself is key. Adding the two biggest pieces of equipment are ladders also sprayers. Familiarizing yourself with both of their operations is key to utmost job safety.

Not only for safety, but proper application of paint, having full knowledge of your paint sprayer. Just as an airless paint sprayer pushes out paint, the final point is the spray tip. Using proper size of spray tip, and caring for your expensive reversible spray tips is just as important as the sprayer itself.

Having correct group of ladders & chosen paint sprayer will increase time painting an exterior tremendously. Typically taking our teams of painters anywhere from 3 to 5 days, having proper equipment and hand-tools.

Hope this is beneficial for you, in your quest of painting an exterior home yourself. Knowing there is still a huge amount of additional information to be learned before picking up the first paint brush you see, or colorful paint sprayer.


If you have a two story home, most of your work will be done on a ladder. Not only climbing up high on one may be uncomfortable, but painting soffits, fascia, & gutters can seem quite challenging. Another reason to hire professionals.

Just being uncomfortable working up high will take you much longer. Especially on roofs having steeper pitches, also pop-outs.

Painting Equipment Includes

  • Brushes, Rollers, Frames
  • Masking materials, Tape, Paper
  • Drop cloths, Plastic sheathing
  • Roller pans, Buckets & Grids
  • Razor knives, Scrapers
  • Extension poles, Ladders, Paint sprayers

Having recommended painting equipment assists the ease of laying on paint the most efficient means possible. Correct width of brushes, rollers, masking tape, ladders, paint sprayers, to brown paper. Even plastic sheathing comes in different thicknesses also widths. Typical painter's plastic can be found in 9' width X 400' long, having mil thickness of one half of a mil.

This is why most hire professional painters, who know the painting business, inside and out.

List Of Referenced Paint Items;

  1. Wooster™
  2. Purdy™
  3. 3M™
  4. Bestt Liebco™
  5. Titan™
  6. Graco™
  7. Warner™
  8. Little Giant™
  9. Louisville™

Knowing How Much Time It'll Take You Painting Your Own Exterior Yourself

Figuring all steps listed above, estimating the time taking you completely painting your exterior depends on amount of effort you plan giving. Not only effort, but experience plus proper equipment will add to the ease of completing this monumental task on schedule.

Just remember not to use a 2'' brush, when in fact you should be using a 4". Cutting time more than half. Use a 4'' roller in places where trim is wider than 6'', cutting your time even more.


If doing everything yourself, plan on spending 90 to 300 hours on actually painting, depending upon your particular outside house painting needs. There will be additional hours spent, scheduling, gathering up tools, also paint & supplies.

Keep in mind, professional painters can get this done in half the time, which is why the price you pay is not by hourly, but by tenured painting experience. Similar to an auto mechanic, or doctor.

However, paying a little more for experience, not only opens up  your busy schedule, but insuring it will be done right the first time. Utilizing pros their own tools, experience, efforts, and equipment.

Like to hear any comments, pings, or shares you might have & Good Luck Painting!

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[…] your time is limited, needing to know just how long does it take to paint a house exterior by yourself? Generally, completing all preparations before actually picking up a paint brush, or spray wand will […]


[…] your time is limited, needing to know just how long does it take to paint a house exterior by yourself? Generally, completing all preparations before actually picking up a paint brush, or spray wand […]


[…] your time is limited, needing to know just how long does it take to paint a house exterior by yourself? Generally, completing all preparations before actually picking up a paint brush, or spray wand […]


[…] your time is limited, needing to know just how long does it take to paint a house exterior by yourself? Generally, completing all preparations before actually picking up a paint brush, or spray wand […]