Wondering how many gallons of paint it takes to cover the exterior of the White House? Read on to find out more about this building and what it takes to cover its exterior.

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Apart from the national flag of the country, the White House serves as a prime icon and symbol of the United States.

It stands tall and proud and lies within the center of Washington, D.C. for everyone to see.

From government workers and the presidential staff to tourists and locals alike, this institution represents one of the pillars of the country.

In many ways, the manicured lawns and the pristine appearance of the White House intrigue outsiders, particularly as it gives way to more mysteries within.

Although many are not allowed within its four walls, one thing’s for sure: the building stands for freedom and democracy.

Despite its stature and prevalence in culture and history, the White House is not exactly as it looked many years ago.

As a matter of fact, this place in Washington, D.C. was once a sleepy town with few buildings in between. It’s hard to imagine this expansive mansion coming from humble beginnings, but here we are.

Looking at its space and square footage alone, one would think that regular maintenance and even cleaning of this building would cost a pretty penny.

Standing at around 55,000 square feet, keeping the White House in tiptop shape is no small feat, especially as it requires regular painting to maintain its elegant and pristine condition at all times.

Before we share the answer to how much paint it takes to cover the White House, let’s talk a little about the history of this building.

The White House and Its History


The White House came to be after much debate and question about where the president of the country should live.

According to National Geographic, the United States Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, alongside other government leaders, wanted to place the capital of the country somewhere in the northern area thanks to its highly commercialized status in the past.

This sparked a debate with Southerners saying that the capital should be located in an agricultural area to prevent political power and financial districts from being concentrated in one area.

Prior to staying and living in the White House, the country’s first president, George Washington, lived between two places, namely New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

However, to make the location more central and accessible – with the makings of a great capital city akin to that of London or Paris – Washington chose a site between Maryland and Virginia right on the Potomac River.

The president, later on, named this place the District of Columbia in homage to Christopher Columbus.

Construction of the building was first started in 1792 with Irish-born James Hoban at the helm, taking approximately eight years to finish.

During construction, Washington supervised the building of the house, insisting that it be made of stone.

Over the years, the overall look of the White House changed appearances. From renovating offices, relocating rooms, and the beginnings of the Oval Office, to repurposing rooms for the family, and staff use – there’s no denying the interior of the White House evolved greatly.

To date, there are 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels in the residence alone.

It can house thousands of guests at a time and serve dinner to as many as 140 people. Its walls have borne witness to great leaders and dignitaries alike.

Despite these changes and differences throughout the years, one thing remains the same, the White House, also known as the President’s Palace or the Executive Mansion, will always symbolize American democracy.

Today, it continues to watch history unfold and to bear witness to new beginnings, giving hope to people far and wide with its formidable structure and color.

Why Is the White House White?

The White House is primarily the color white, thanks to the building material, sandstone, being covered by stonemasons in 1798.

This allowed the building to earn the moniker, The White House. However, the name of the building was only officially recognized in 1901 under President Theodore Roosevelt.

How Many Gallons of Paint Needed to Cover the Exterior of the White House

To answer your question, it would require approximately a whopping 570 gallons of paint to cover the building’s exterior.

According to Southern Living, the cost of this paint alone amounts to $20,000.

Partnered with contracting, maintenance, and housekeeping services to care for the White House, the overall price would clock in at a massive $750,000 to $1.6 million a year.

The Bottom Line

Considered an American treasure, the White House is an undoubtedly iconic landmark and federal office today. More than representing the leader of the country, this building symbolizes the democracy of the United States and its people, with a rich history behind its color.

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We hope you enjoyed our article about the White House and what it takes to paint the exterior of this historic building.