Cost of painting & decorating: Painters and Decorators’ prices

Painting the interior or exterior of a house can be a massive undertaking, both in terms of time and money. Deciding to take on a painting job can be a significant investment, so it’s essential to know what kind of costs you should expect.

Nonetheless, like any home remodelling project, it comes with a cost. Whether you hire an interior painting pro or not, expect to open up your wallet for this home renovation project. How much exactly? Continue reading to see the average interior painting cost, as well as the factors that can increase or decrease your overall painting budget.

Cost of painting a house

In 2023, the cost of painting a house in the UK can vary depending on factors like location, room size, and the condition of the space. For a two-bedroom flat or house, the cost typically ranges from £1,750 to £2,300. Day rates for painters usually fall between £150 and £200 per day.

In London, prices can be higher, with a range of £300 to £500, while outside London, you can expect to pay between £200 and £400. Keep in mind that these costs can change based on the specific requirements and scope of the project, so it’s always best to get a detailed quote from a professional before proceeding.

Average cost of painting and decorating

The average day rate for a painter and decorator across the UK is between £160 and £180 per day, with prices in London likely to be a bit higher. However, this rate can vary depending on factors such as region, the condition of the walls, and the specific requirements of the project.

Cost to decorate a room.

cost to paint a room

The cost to decorate a room in the UK can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the room, the complexity of the work, the materials required, and the location. Here’s a rough estimate to give you an idea of the costs involved in decorating a room:

  1. Painting walls and ceiling: £200 – £400
  2. Painting or wallpapering a feature wall: £100 – £200
  3. Painting woodwork (skirting boards, door frames, doors, etc.): £150 – £300
  4. Wallpapering a whole room: £300 – £600

These estimates are for labour only and do not include the cost of paint, wallpaper, or other materials. You should also consider other costs, such as hiring a professional to prepare the surfaces, which may involve plastering, sanding, or filling in any cracks.

Cost of painting a room.

The cost of painting a room in the UK can vary depending on factors such as the size of the room, the number of walls, and the type of paint used (water-based or oil-based paints and each of these paints come in different finishes, such as glosssemi-glosssatin, or matte). For a regular 4m x 3m room, including woodwork and coving, a painter and decorator may charge around £150 for a couple of days’ work.

Cost to paint the interior of a house.

The table below presents the estimated cost of painting the interiors of houses of different sizes, which includes applying a mist coat and two coats of either matt or eggshell emulsion on the walls.

  • Studio or one-bedroom flat: £500-£1,500
  • Two-bedroom flat or small house: £1,000-£2,500
  • Three-bedroom house: £2,000-£4,000
  • Four-bedroom house: £3,000-£6,000
  • Five-bedroom house or larger: £5,000-£10,000 or more

Cost of painting by room type

The cost of professional interior painting services generally ranges from £10 to £40 per square meter. As the room size increases, so does the price, particularly if the ceilings are high and hard to access. Usually, bathrooms are the smallest and most affordable rooms to paint in a home, whereas living rooms tend to be the biggest and more expensive to paint.

Room TypeAverage Size (m²)Average Cost of Painting
Bathroom4.5£180 – £200
Kitchen9£270 – £300
Bedroom12£360 – £400
Living Room21£630 – £700

Painting cost calculator

The coverage for paint is typically 10m² per litre. To calculate the amount of paint needed for your room, follow these steps:

  1. Measure the length and height of each wall in the room.
  2. Calculate the area of each wall by multiplying its length by its height.
  3. Add up the total area of all walls.
  4. Divide the total area by 10 (coverage per litre of paint) to get the number of litres needed for one coat.
  5. Multiply the number of litres by the number of coats required (usually, two coats are recommended).

For example, let’s consider a 4m x 3m room with 2.5m high walls:

Wall 1 and 3: length = 4m, height = 2.5m

Wall 2 and 4: length = 3m, height = 2.5m

Area of Wall 1 and 3: 4m x 2.5m = 10m² each (20m² total)

Area of Wall 2 and 4: 3m x 2.5m = 7.5m² each (15m² total)

Total area: 20m² + 15m² = 35m²

Litres needed for one coat: 35m² ÷ 10 = 3.5 litres

Litres needed for two coats: 3.5 litres x 2 = 7 litres

In this example, you would need 7 litres of paint to cover the room with two coats. Keep in mind that this is a rough estimate, and factors such as paint brand, room layout, and wall texture may affect the amount of paint needed. Always consult the paint manufacturer’s guidelines and consider purchasing a little extra paint to account for any errors or touch-ups.

Breakdown of the cost of painting the interior of a house

  • Average cost: £850 + £450 if scaffolding is required.
  • Price range: £2,400 to £3,100
  • Cost per m2: £15-£25
cost of painting the interior of a house

The cost of painting the interior of a house in the UK can be broken down into several components:

Room type and size: Different rooms may require different amounts of paint and time to complete. A larger room, like a lounge or master bedroom, will typically cost more than a smaller room, like a bathroom. A three-bedroom house can generally expect to pay between £2,400 and £3,100 for interior painting.

Amount of paint required: The cost of paint varies depending on quality and brand. For an average-sized room, you may need around 2-3 litres of paint per coat. The more paint is needed, the higher the overall cost.

Prep work needed: Preparation work, such as filling cracks, sanding, and priming, can increase the overall cost of the project. The more prep work is needed, the more time and materials are required, which increases the cost.

Painter’s hourly rate: Painters in the UK generally charge an hourly rate of around £15-£25 per hour. However, most tradespeople provide a day rate or a price for the whole job. The more experienced or skilled the painter, the higher the rate they may charge.

Additional work: If doors, windows, or other elements need painting or repairs, this can increase the cost. The type and extent of additional work will determine the overall impact on the project’s final cost.

Breakdown of the cost of painting the exterior of a house

  • Average cost: £850 + £450 if scaffolding is required.
  • Price range: £1,500 to £4,000
  • Cost per m2: £25-£40

Painting the exterior of a house in the UK can be a major home improvement project that requires careful planning and budgeting. The cost can vary depending on factors such as the size of the house, the level of preparation needed, the quality of the paint used, and the experience of the painter.

The average cost of painting the exterior of a house is £850, the highest cost could be significantly higher, especially if the project requires scaffolding, which can add another £400-£600, and if extensive repairs or preparation work is needed.

Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from £1,500 to £4,000 or more for a small house, while larger homes with more complex designs or special finishes can cost significantly more.

Factors affecting the cost of exterior painting

The cost of painting the exterior of a house in the UK can be broken down into several categories:

Size and design of the house: The average exterior house painting cost in the UK is around £25-£40 per square metre. The overall cost will depend on the size and complexity of the house, with larger and more intricate designs being more expensive.

Materials: The cost of paint and other materials ranges between £1-£26 per litre. The type of paint, primer, and any additional treatments needed will impact the total material cost.

Labour: The average labour cost for a professional painter and decorator is between £100-£200 per day. The total labour cost will depend on the experience of the painter and the location of the house.

Scaffolding: If the house requires scaffolding for safe access to high areas, this can add to the overall cost. The price of scaffolding depends on the size and complexity of the setup.

Additional services: Extra services such as repairing damaged surfaces, pressure washing, or removing old paint may increase the overall cost.

Remember, these are general estimates, and it’s essential to get multiple quotes from painters for a more accurate cost breakdown for your specific project.

How to save on painting and decorating costs

paper money and coins - how to save advice

Painting and decorating can be a costly home improvement project, but there are ways to save money without sacrificing quality.

Plan your painting project: Before starting, make a detailed plan that includes the type and quantity of paint, tools, and materials you need. This will help you avoid overspending on unnecessary items.

Look for paint sales and discounts: Check for deals at local paint stores and online retailers. Buying paint during sales can significantly reduce your overall expenses.

Use high-quality paint: Invest in good-quality paint to ensure better coverage and durability. This will reduce the need for frequent touch-ups and save you money in the long run.

Calculate paint quantity accurately: Use a paint calculator to determine the exact quantity of paint you need, avoiding waste and extra expense.

Do some work yourself: Save on labour costs by taking on tasks like prepping the walls, removing wallpaper, and cleaning surfaces before painting.

Get multiple quotes: Contact various professional painters for competing bids, which will help you find the best deal and negotiate better prices.

Use a contract: Have a written agreement with the painter that details the scope of work, materials, and costs, to avoid any unexpected expenses.

Buy only the materials you need: Purchase only the necessary painting tools and materials, and consider borrowing or renting equipment, if possible.

Choose the right equipment: Select the appropriate brushes, rollers, and other tools that match your wall’s texture to ensure a smooth finish and avoid wasted paint.

Time your project wisely: Schedule your painting project during off-peak seasons when painters might offer discounted rates due to lower demand.

What is the cost of paints?

Beyond the notion of a basic colour or scheme, homeowners don’t often think about the cost of paints or what to look out for before they arrive at the checkout. You might be surprised to discover that several different factors can affect your final painting cost. Check out the tips outlined below to help you save money at the till and be better prepared for your project:

BrandApproximate Price Range (per litre)
Farrow & Ball£25-£50
Little Greene£20-£40
Graham & Brown£20-£40
Homebase (own-brand)£10-£20
House Beautiful£25-£40
Dulux Simply Refresh£10-£20
Frenchic Furniture Paint£10-£25
Paint & Paper Library£20-£45
Annie Sloan£25-£40 (for 32 oz)

Cost of primers

cost of paint primers
Asian builder using a long-handle roller brush to paint primer.

The cost of primers can vary greatly depending on factors such as brand, quality, and quantity. Primers are essential for ensuring a smooth and even application of paint or makeup, providing a solid base for any subsequent layers. As such, understanding the range of primer prices in the UK market can aid consumers in making informed decisions when purchasing these products.

Paint primer brands

One significant factor influencing the cost of primers in the UK is the brand. Renowned brands with a reputation for high-quality products often command higher prices due to their perceived value and reliability. For instance, premium paint primer brands such as Farrow & Ball, Dulux, and Crown Paints typically have higher primer prices compared to budget-friendly options like Leyland or Johnstone’s.

Quality of primer

Quality is another crucial aspect that affects the cost of primers in the UK. High-quality primers are formulated to provide better adhesion, durability, and surface preparation compared to their lower-quality counterparts. As a result, these products can command higher prices due to their enhanced performance and longevity.

Quantity of primer

The quantity of primer purchased also plays a role in determining the overall cost. Bulk purchases or larger-sized products often provide better value for money, as the cost per unit or per millilitre tends to decrease with an increase in quantity. However, it is essential to consider the required amount and usage frequency to avoid potential wastage, as some primers have a limited shelf life or may lose their efficacy over time.

Paint finish

Most people already have a preference between a gloss or flat/matte paint finish, as you usually find that one style will better suit your home before repainting a new room, depending on how much light you like and what your eyes are accustomed to. That said, you should take note that glossier sheens are usually a little more expensive.

Type of PrimerBrandApproximate Cost (1 Litre)Approximate Cost (2.5 Litres)
Acrylic PrimerDulux Trade£15£30
Oil-Based PrimerZinsser Cover£20£45
Dulux Trade£20£45
Shellac-Based PrimerZinsser B-I-N£25£55
Water-Based PrimerRonseal£15£32
Dulux Trade£15£30

Pros and cons of hiring a professionals

The pros of hiring a professional painter and decorator include their expertise and experience, access to high-quality tools and materials, and potentially faster and more efficient completion of the project. Cons may include higher costs, less creative control for the homeowner, and potential scheduling conflicts.

Pros of hiring

  1. Expertise and Professionalism: Professional painters and decorators have years of experience and training that enable them to deliver high-quality results that may be difficult to achieve otherwise.
  2. Time-saving: Hiring professionals can save you a significant amount of time as they can complete the project efficiently and within a shorter timeframe compared to doing it yourself.
  3. Proper Equipment and Tools: Professional painters and decorators have access to the right equipment, tools, and materials needed for the job, ensuring a professional finish.
  4. Insurance and Safety: Professionals are insured, which means you are covered in case of any accidents or damages that may occur during the project.
  5. Long-lasting Results: Due to their expertise and use of high-quality materials, professional painters and decorators can guarantee long-lasting results.

Cons of hiring

  1. Cost: Hiring a professional painter and decorator can be more expensive than doing it yourself, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
  2. Inflexible Schedules: Professionals may have limited availability and might not be able to work on your desired timeline, causing you to wait for their services.
  3. Lack of Personal Touch: Letting a professional handle the painting and decorating may result in a lack of personal connection and input into the project, making it feel less “yours.”
  4. Potential for Miscommunication: There is a risk of miscommunication between you and the professional, leading to results that may not meet your expectations.
  5. Difficulties in Finding the Right Professional: It can be challenging to find a reliable and reputable painter and decorator who can deliver the desired results within your budget.

Hiring a professional Painter and Decorator: what to expect

Hiring a professional painter and decorator typically involves a consultation to discuss your project goals and budget, followed by a detailed quote outlining materials, labour costs, and timelines.

The painter will then prepare the surface to be painted, such as cleaning and sanding, before applying primer and paint. The decorator may also advise on colour schemes, wallpaper, and finishes.

Throughout the process, the painter will ensure a high-quality finish and will clean up the workspace upon completion. You can expect a professional and stress-free experience with a beautifully finished project that meets your expectations.

How to choose colours

When it comes to redecorating, there are so many colours of paint and wallpaper available that it can easily get overwhelmed. So if you’ve chosen to improve your home rather than move, be brave and personalize your interior design by splashing around some colour. Here are some top tips on how to choose the right colour scheme for your property:

Colours represent feelings, so make sure you choose one that makes you feel good.

  • Red – is often associated with danger, but varying shades of red can also represent warmth, love, energy, or passion.
  • Blue – can be calming and soothing and was traditionally thought to encourage intellectual thought. Some people may find blue quite cold, so choose shades with this in mind.
  • Green – represents nature and health and is very easy for the eye to adjust to – meaning who can use it in any room.
  • Yellow – provided you don’t choose too sickly a shade, yellow has happy, positive, and stimulating connotations.
  • Purple – this colour is traditionally associated with wealth, luxury, and royalty – used to be very expensive to produce. Purple can be a mighty colour, so use it sparingly/carefully.
  • White – represents purity and is fresh, so it goes with anything. To ensure white decor doesn’t become too clinical, combine it with wood or other warming natural textures.
  • Black absorbs heat and energy and can be very imposing; however, black can work well if combined with other colours, fabrics, and textures.