How Exterior Painting Improves Curb Appeal & Home Value

Jeremy Holderness

The most common reasons that homeowners re-paint the exterior of their homes are because they either want to improve the look of the house, or because it is showing signs of wear and there is a need. While this won't come as a surprise to any of our readers, what you may not have considered is the return on investment you could expect from the money you put out for a paint job.

With that said, what I would like to do today is to dive into all of the reasons why and how exterior painting not only improves curb appeal, but also adds actual value to your home.

Does Painting Your Home Add Value?

Of course I'm going to tell you that it does...I work for a painting company so you might say I'm a little biased. Rather than trying to influence you with my personal opinion or sharing some anecdotal evidence from one of our customers I'll let the broader data speak for itself.

In 2012 HomeGain conducted a survey on the subject; the results of which were reinforced by a subsequent survey from HomeLight in 2019 where over 900 real estate agents were interviewed. Both surveys concluded that re-painting the exterior of your home yielded a 51%-55% return on your investment.

Consumer reports recently added to that sentiment, claiming that enhancing your home's exterior, especially with painting, can boost the value of the home by 2%-5%.

Finally, the Chairwoman of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, Jennie Norris, stated that "[Painting] is the least expensive investment for the biggest return."

How Curb Appeal Affects Home Value

What kind of impression does your home make on the world?

  • A well-maintained home - A crisp-looking paint job makes the statement to any passers-by that the homeowners take pride in maintaining the property. What you see on the outside is likely a good indicator of what you will also find on the inside. If the paint on your siding is peeling badly then your neighbors will think that there's a disaster behind those closed doors.

  • A modern home - Keeping up with current color trends, or at least incorporating classic/timeless colors into the home's facade will communicate that the exterior walls aren't hiding an interior design that's stuck in 1984.

  • A historically/architecturally cohesive home - Some municipal associations go to great lengths to preserve the historical integrity of their neighborhoods by requiring exterior paint schemes to conform to historically-accurate color palettes. Even if you don't live in one of these areas you can help restore your home to its former glory by making use of your local paint store's color brochures with combinations that are designed to honor your home's original architecture and time period.

  • A home that turns people on...or turns people off - If you're selling your home it's important to know that color impacts people's buying decisions. Choose the right color and you could be closing escrow in a couple of weeks; choose the wrong color and you could be closing the door behind another potential buyer who is walking away.

    In June 2018, Reader's Digest published a report by Zillow that looked at 135,000 photos of old houses from around the country to see what kind of impact paint colors made on home sales. They found that homes with smoky, jet black, or charcoal accent-colored doors sold for almost $6,300 more than expected. Conversely, home exteriors painted with a creamy or bright yellow color sold for around $3,400 less than other competing houses.

Types Of Exterior Painting That Can Increase Value

So what types of exterior painting projects add value to your home? Well it doesn't necessarily have to be an entire home re-paint. Here are some of the most common exterior painting projects that we have performed over the years that can all have a huge impact:

  • Siding
  • Windows
  • Trim Packages (window & door trim, shutters, outside corners, soffit, fascia, gutters, etc.)
  • Entry & Garage Doors
  • Exposed Foundations
  • Concrete Porch, Sidewalk, Pool Deck Staining
  • Garage Floor Coatings
  • Deck Staining
  • Fences

DIY Or Hire A Pro For Exterior Painting

I've written many articles on this subject which you can find here on the ImageWorks Painting blog so I won't go deeply into it. But when you're weighing the options there are a few things that, as a homeowner, you should always consider:
 
  • Do I know what I'm doing? - Back in the days before the marketing campaigns of the big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe's had convinced the general public that they could do any home improvement project as well as an experienced professional, professional painters were considered craftsmen; the painter was an artist. Today, not so much.

    I've gone into the reasons why the modern house painter is as much to blame for their decline in reputation as anyone. But at the end of the day there are still lots of great painting companies out there that employ outstanding professional craftsmen who do an amazing job. These fine folks will produce a final product that is a thousand times better than what any amateur homeowner could. So before you fall into the trap of thinking that all paint jobs are the same, know that they're absolutely not.

    I've devoted the last several years of my life to writing articles that teach the homeowner how to do their own painting projects the right way so I'm definitely not discouraging anyone from it. But before you jump in with both feet, know that proper surface preparation, selection of the right products, and correct application of coatings -- all of the factors that go into a great paint job -- is a BIG undertaking. Cut any corners and you will be out there re-painting again in a couple of years.

  • Do I have the time to tackle this project? - It takes on average of the better part of a week for a professional painting crew to re-paint a home. For the average homeowner who can only work on Saturday and Sunday you should plan on it taking 1-2 months of working weekends to complete a full exterior repaint.

  • Can I afford it? - A full exterior re-paint is not cheap. As you're creating your budget, if you gather at least 2-3 estimates as you should you will likely see a big difference in price from one company to another. There is a reason why prices vary from one company to the next and it's usually the amount of time and effort that company intends to put into the job. All paint jobs, and all painting companies, are not created equal so do your research and make sure each estimate includes a full scope of the work that company intends to perform. Read some of our articles on the ImageWorks Blog to help make this process go much smoother.


Hopefully this article gave you some helpful takeaways. Most homeowners paint for the obvious reasons of maintaining and beautifying their home. But careful planning that results in a high-quality paint job can actually add tangible value to your home.

Please check out our other articles to help you plan your next painting project.

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Ready to get started with your next painting project but unsure if it is in your budget? Reach out to the expert painting team at ImageWorks Painting to schedule a free consultation today. Give us a call at 813-570-8800 (Tampa) or 724-898-2446 (Pittsburgh), or request a visit online.