Whether you’re going the whole DIY route or simply touching up an old exterior paint job, it’s important to understand how different surfaces interact with paint. Various surface materials need to be prepared beforehand, but they’ll also affect your wallet a bit differently too. That is, while vinyl siding will run you around $600 for 250 square feet, the trickier material stucco will cost roughly $900 for around 500 square feet.
Here’s a quick rundown. First up, vinyl siding, the easiest and quickest surface to paint, may require more protective finishes than other types of materials; easy-to-paint wood siding may require a stain, which can protect against humidity and the sun; metal siding, often made of aluminum or steel, just requires a good cleaning beforehand (and, of course, removal of any rust); concrete walls require special sealants and primers, but, once they’re prepped, the paint job is a cinch; and, finally, stucco remains one of the trickiest materials to paint on — not only does it cost the most per square foot and require a special paint, but stucco prep work (cleaning and caulking) is also extensive.
Need some paint recs for each material? Here are ours:
Best for Brick or Stucco: Behr Flat Masonry, Stucco & Brick Exterior Paint
Best for Metal Siding: Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Metallic Aluminum Interior/Exterior Paint
Best for Vinyl Siding: Behr Marquee Infinite Deep Sea Satin Enamel Exterior Paint & Primer in One
Best for Wood Siding: Behr Ultra Secluded Woods Flat Exterior Paint & Primer in One