Cost guides, Home Design & Decor, Painters & decorators

Painting Prices & Costs: Cost To Hire A Painter UK 2020

The average cost to paint a room is between £330 and £500, and the cost to paint the interior of a house ranges from £1,000 to £6,000.

painting prices
A housepainter stands on a ladder to paint the walls inside a residential home.

The idea of re-painting and re-decorating a house can be very exciting for anyone. This kind of refreshment not only gives you a chance to turn boring interiors into eye-catching ones but also provides you with opportunities to design each of your rooms according to the purpose of use.

The way we think or feel has a lot to do with colours and patterns that are around us; and so, when a chance to make use of your favourite fabrics and paints arrives, you should do your best in order to bring the best out of your house, which requires to have a knowledge of involved costs on your part. Therefore, this article will give you a rough idea regarding the costs of hiring painters or decorators.

How much do painters and decorators charge?

Painters charge around £14 per m2 to paint the interior of a house. The average cost to paint a room is between £330 and £500, and the cost to paint the interior of a house ranges from £1,000 to £6,000. The labour cost alone accounts for 70% to 85% of your total paint job.

Cost to paint the interior of the house by bedrooms

The cost to paint a house’s interior can be estimated by the number of bedrooms. Painting all the walls inside a house costs on average between £800 and £4,200, depending on the size of the house, your location, and the size of the company you will hire.

1 Bedroom £800- £1,500         1 day

2 Bedroom £1,500-2,100        1-2 days

3 Bedroom £2,100-£3,100       2 days

4 Bedroom £2,600-£3,600       2-3 days

5 Bedroom £3,600-£4,200        3-4 days

How much does a painter cost?

The cost to hire a painter comes between £15-£54 per hour and £115- £400 per day. On average homeowners in the United Kingdom spend £24 per hour and £164 per day to hire a painter/decorator. The average total cost for a painting and decorating project comes to £860, with smaller projects starting from £300.

Planning and Budgeting 

Truth to be told, it is always tempting to open the paint can and start colouring your dreams at once; but you know, there must be a good plan in your mind before you start doing anything at all. You should have a basic idea regarding what you want to achieve and how much money are you willing to spend.

Choosing the right colours and decorating materials is important of course, however, the most important factor, without a doubt, is the budget. You need to have a clear budget in mind when you plan things, and you should spend accordingly. The fixed budget comes handy when choosing the materials and paints. Moreover, in case you plan to hire interior designers or painters, budget is one of the most important aspects that come into play.

Generally, the budget depends mainly on two aspects:

1. The kind of paint you decide to use

The subject of selecting the right paint is not just limited to the final look and feel of your house. In fact, the paint you use is one of the top factors having an impact on your budget. Under normal circumstances, matt emulsions, which are pretty basic, come for a cheap price. However, if you decide to go for gloss or silk emulsion, you may have to stretch your budget to a certain extent.

  • Bolder colours tend to cost more than colours like white or magnolia. 
  • Moreover, if you want personalized paints, you may have to spend a lot more than the average. 
  • Keep your eyes open for offers and deals. 
  • Sometimes, you may get really great discounts when you buy paints in bulk.
  • Compare the paint prices of different shops before deciding to spend your money.

2. The contractors or designers you choose

The cost of hiring a painter or a decorator can vary a lot depending on the:

  • Size of the project.
  • Height of your room.
  • Type of colour you want to use.
  • Technical skills needed for the work, room shapes, etc. 

All the above are just a few of the factors which determine the final cost. In order to minimize your expenses, contact different paint and design agencies to get the best possible deal.

Painting and Decorating Prices in the UK

painting and decorating prices

Paint and Wallpaper

Whether you’re looking for a simple, one-colour paint job or fancy trying out some more fancy, bolder patterns, shades, or borders, you need to look at all the paint and wallpaper options available before making a final decision.

Types of paint

Solvent-based paint – these paints have high volumes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are harmful to the environment, especially if poured down the sink. Eco paints are now available which contain no VOCs; these even include new odour reducing and self-cleaning paints.

Water-based paints – these are a much more environmentally friendly option that doesn’t reek of chemicals. The downside is that water-based paint isn’t quite as durable and thick as the solvent kind – so you may need to apply more coats.

Emulsion paints – these water-based paints are ideal for ceilings and walls because they’re thick and easy to apply. Humidity resistant emulsion paints have also been developed for use in steamy rooms like kitchens or bathrooms.

Gloss – you might need to use a gloss rather than standard paint when it comes to painting furniture. Gloss is often applied to wood or metal surfaces and is a thick, solvent-based substance. As an alternative, you could use acrylic paint for this type of work.

Matt and silk paint – paints are available in a matt or gloss finish. Matt gives a flat, non-reflective look whereas silk results in a shiny, reflective coat.

Undercoats – depending on what surface is being painted, you may need to apply a primer and an undercoat before painting on your top layer. This seals and evens out the surface to give a polished finish.

Metal paints – You can use bituminous paint for iron fittings like pipes, tanks or gutters. This paint offers waterproof protection by forming a bituminous layer when dry.

Cost of paint per litre per litre

An average tin of emulsion paint will cost around £8 to £10 per litre. Heavier, oil-based paints (great for additional varnish or harder surfaces) tins will usually cost around £30 a litre.

Cost of wallpaper per square meter 

The price of wallpaper varies depending on the amount you need and the density and/or pattern you will choose, but generally, you shouldn’t spend more than £9 to £20 per roll. Specialist wall coverings (made of alternative materials for firmer application) can up to £150 per roll.

Fittings

Only really necessary if you’re doing a full makeover for your room redesign, fittings might include anything from light shades and switches or door handles to new radiator models or even fireplace reconstruction. Prices will obviously vary considerably depending on how extensively you want to refit the chosen room. Aim to set a budget somewhere between £500 and £1,500 for fitting redecoration.

Furniture

Although it takes less time to ‘install’ than other fittings, new furniture can prove a pretty expensive investment – so make sure new sofas and cushions, dining tables, coffee tables, chairs and cupboards and cabinets cover all your necessary requirements before merely picking them out for aesthetic value. For the standard interior design of a single living room, you should set a budget of around £1,000 to £3,000.

Interior Painting Labour Cost

The final cost of painting and decorating will ultimately depend on whether you hire a professional painter/contractor to carry out the job for you, or if you fancy giving it a go yourself. On average painters charge £160 per day or £375-£500 per room.

Don’t forget that these prices are just estimates, and for the most accurate costs you should compare a number of different products and/or contractors that are specifically tailored to the specifications of your home and interior decorating project. 

If you plan on helping out or doing a bit of painting and decorating yourself then you will also need to account for a few days off work (unless it is taken as a holiday) – be really intricate with your budget for painting and decorating costs just to be sure you don’t start spending what you can’t afford. That way your property can have a brand new look for as cheap as possible.

Exterior House Painting Costs

The average cost to paint the exterior of a two-storey, 3-bedroom house in the UK comes to £850 and takes about a 3-5 days to complete. 

Exterior house painting cost can be slightly more than interior painting prices. This is usually because of accessibility; it’s likely that you’ll need to hire a professional to carry out external painting safely and efficiently. 

Depending on the size of your property, they will likely use ladders or even scaffolding to complete your external painting project. Hiring a professional painter and decorator to paint the exterior of your property also means that you are covering the costs of all materials such as paint, plaster and putty. 

When looking for which company/professional to hire ask if they can use their own tools and equipment as this will save you more funds. In addition, if you live in an expensive city such as London, expect to pay 20%-30% more than the average exterior painting price. When it comes to selecting the best quality of paint and materials, consult with your painter/decorator to suggest the best ones. However, DO NOT FORGET to shop around as you might be able to find good quality paint at lower prices. 

Painting House Exterior Prices

Based on what we discussed before, it becomes obvious that the cost of painting a house exterior in the UK varies on many factors. The most important factors are the size and style that you will choose. The table below demonstrates the approximate cost for painting the exterior of a house. 

Keep in mind that these figures are just provided to help you get a rough idea. They are estimates and should only be used as a rough guide. When budgeting always ad another 20%-30% on the top of what our exterior painting calculator suggests below.

HOUSE TYPESIZEESTIMATED TIMECOST
Terraced House2-3 Bedrooms3-5 Days£550-£750
Semi-Detached3 Bedrooms4-5 Days£700-£1,000
Detached3-4 Bedrooms4-5 Days£900-£1,500

Supply Only Costs

If you want to combat painting exterior walls yourself, you may need to know the supply only costs. This means without any labour cost, and included only the cost for materials needed to complete the job.

Type of Exterior PaintPrice Range
Gloss£15-£30
Semi-gloss£10-£15
Satin£15-£30
Masonry£2-£28
Wood stain£16-£20
Metal£10-£40
Decking stain£5-£10
Decking oil£5-£50
Shed and fence treatment£2.5-£36

To paint an average-sized house, it will take approximately 30-50 litres of paint to fully cover the exterior of a house.

Labour Costs and Time Scales

Labour costs can vary depending on location experience and how long the job takes. On average, most exterior painters will charge £100 to £200 per day for labour alone.

Check out the table below to find out the time scales of different sized houses:

TYPE OF HOUSEEXTERIOR CONDITIONDURATION
TerracedSmooth2-3 days
Semi-detachedSmooth3-4 days
DetachedSmooth4-5 days
TerracedTextured4-5 days
Semi-detachedTextured6-7 days
DetachedTextured7-8 days

Cost Factors of Painting a House Exterior

The most important factors that affect the cost of an exterior painting job are:

  1. Size of the house (how many square meters).
  2. Style and type (different effects and textures).
  3. State of the exterior (filling cracks, replacing render).
  4. The number of coats (1,2 or 3).
  5. Location (prices in London are a lot higher).
  6. Size of company (operational expenses affect the fees).
  7. Accessibility (is scaffolding required?).

Painting the exterior of a terraced house can cost from £550 to £1,500. If scaffolding is not included in the price, estimate another £400-£600 on to the painting price. 

What’s Involved in Painting a House Exterior?

If you are planning to hire a professional painter or decorator to paint the exterior of your house then there is not much to do as they will handle almost everything. By having professional painting and decorating company to handle the job it will speed up the entire process and give you long-lasting results. 

Exterior Painting Process

  1. The professional painter/decorator pays a visit to your home to assess the size and complexity of the job(and whether scaffolding is required or not). 
  2. A discussion follows about the desired colour and finish of the exterior.
  3. The contractor checks availability and determines how long the project will take. 
  4. The tradesperson prepares the surface and removes any old flaking paint and washed down all of the walls to remove dirt and debris.
  5. The painter/decorator makes any repairs after agreeing with you about the cost (repair mortar between bricks, repoint brickwork). 
  6. If the damage is too severe consider hiring renderer to patch repair or re-render the entire wall whenever it is required. 
  7. After the preparation and repair work has been completed the walls are primed with a special exterior undercoat.  
  8. The painters then seal and mask any doors, windows, vents, outdoor lights and other objects before start painting. 
  9. Once the preparation has been completed, the painting can begin. 

Benefits Of Painting The Exterior Of Your House

  • Freshen up the appearance of your home.
  • Protect your walls. 
  • Increase the value of your property. 
  • Maintain your home’s structural integrity.

DIY House Exterior Painting vs. Hiring a Professional

If you have experience in home refurbishment or the odd DIY job then you may want to save a bit of cash and have a go at painting the room yourself. Nevertheless, it is likely a qualified contractor could get the job done quicker if you lack the confidence and/or experience yourself – plus they have knowledge on painting techniques, products and equipment that could provide a better finish and even keep costs down.

Before attempting to paint the exterior of your house yourself consider the following carefully:

  • Do you have any experience or skills? 
  • Do you have enough time to complete the project within a logical timeframe?
  • Is there anyone else that can assist you?
  • Do you have experience with working at heights, with scaffolding and ladders?
  • Do you know how to handle chemicals and special paints?
  • How well can you prepare the surface?
  • How confident are you about selecting the right colours and textures?

Many homeowners who have attempted to paint the exterior of their property themselves in order to save funds end up spending a lot more at the end as they get frustrated with the final result and decide to hire a professional. Not only they have to pay the fees but also to re-purchase more paint for having the painter to correct the mistakes they made. 

Benefits of Hiring A Professional Painter and Decorator

  • Have a lot of experience working with heights. 
  • Know how to best prepare the exterior of the house.
  • Knowledge of painting techniques, products and equipment.
  • Tradespeople are insured against accidents. 
  • Hiring a professional will save you plenty of time.
  • Better final result. 

How To Hire A Professional House Painter

Before hiring any professional painter to paint the exterior of your house there are several things that you need to consider. The checklist we created will help you find the best possible painter for the job.

  • Search online for local painters in your area.
  • Ask any neighbour for any recommendation. 
  • Compare prices and quality of work before you commit to any painter. 
  • Always ask for a written copy of the quote they provided you detailing all costs. 
  • Only pay the full amount when you are satisfied with the quality of work.
  • Ensure that the tradesperson is insured, in the event of an accident. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How Much Will It Cost To Paint A 2-Storey House?

The average cost to paint a standard size two-storey house in the United Kingdom starts from about £850, depending on the size and complexity of the project.

How Long Does It Take To Paint The Exterior Of A House?

Depending on the scale and complexity of the project, painting the exterior of your house usually takes from 4 to 6 days. 

What Is The Most Popular House Colour?

Last year the UK’s most popular choice for exterior paint colours were strong neutrals such as Greys, Beige and Clay.

How long should it take to paint a 12×12 room?

Typically it takes around 40-60 min for an average person to paint a 12×12 room with a roller brush.

How long does it take to paint the interior of a house?

A medium-size bedroom room should take on average around 4-5 hours. This includes preparing the surface and covering any furniture and also taping the edges. If you are planning to paint the trims too, add another hour or two. 

Is It Better To Spray On Exterior Paint?

Spaying on external walls is not recommended as it will result in thinner layers and therefore it will be necessary to apply more coats to achieve the desired result. Painting with a roller brush is the more effective and precise way as the paint is applied in thicker and even layers.

Useful Resources

https://www.myjobquote.co.uk/costs/painting-a-bedroom https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/painting/
https://trustedtraders.which.co.uk/articles/cost-guide-painters-and-decorators
https://www.houselogic.com/remodel/painting-lighting/how-much-does-it-cost-paint-house/
https://www.fixr.com/costs/painter

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