Setting the right budget

How much should you expect to pay?

We know it's difficult to estimate how much a project will cost, that's why we've surveyed our tradesmen to give you an idea of how much you should expect to pay for specific jobs. Tradesmen all across the country have contributed to the cost guides, so the costs you see are an approximate national average.

Painting a sitting room

Good condition Average condition Poor condition
Low High Low High Low High
Painting a sitting room £150 £375 £225 £565 £300 £750

Paint varies wildly in price, but in the end you largely get what you pay for in terms of quality. Your painter and decorator should be able to advise you on brands that they recommend or avoid, but they will be just as happy to work with paint you have bought. They will also be able to advise you on looks, colours and can even buy trade paint from their own supplier if you want an all-in cost for the job.

The charge for their expertise and labour will mostly be dependent upon the size of your sitting room and the amount of preparation work involved. This prep work could include making walls flatter by skimming with plaster or patching cracks or adding lining paper. Fiddly painting of details or period features (or painting around them) may also add time and cost.

Preparation is key with all painting work and you can expect your painter and decorator to spend a good hour or more masking off skirting boards, light switches and joins (such as where the walls meet the ceiling). This will ensure a crisp, clean finish and, along with dust sheets, ensures that your carpets and furniture are not ruined by dripping paint.

How many coats of paint you need will dictate labour time, with darker walls taking longer to paint over and lighter paints often needing more coats than the manufacturer may suggest. Your painter should be happy to keep you informed of this and how the job is progressing. A good painter will always have their own rollers, paintbrushes and other tools and you should not be expected to splash out for these as a part of your bill.

Rated People surveyed 60 of our painters and decorators across the country to give you an idea of the approximate costs for a range of interior decorating jobs in your home. Factors which influence cost are the room you want decorating, the job you want doing in it and the condition of the room. We classify surfaces in “Good Condition” as having a few picture hooks or small cracks in the wall, “Average Condition” as having multiple cracks or holes and “Poor Condition” as having larger cracked or damaged plaster.

Please note these prices are average, do not include materials and are offered as guidance only, to help you budget when posting a job on Rated People. Most tradesmen we surveyed said the start price for work is £500, so these costs are really only appropriate if you have more than one room to decorate. For a free quote tailored to your specific requirements, please contact one of our local painter and decorators.


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