Painting your home is a classic example of a job that looks easier than it is. If you’ve toiled for hours in a web of masking tape, you’ll know that it’s well worth calling on the services of a professional painter.
A painter and decorator brings more than just paint and brushes. They’ll arrive with the knowledge to select the correct preparation techniques in order to achieve the finish you’re looking for. They can even help you find the right shade of paint for each room. That experience means your decorator can deliver a high-quality service at a fast pace, making the overall cost of painting and decorating work more affordable than you might think.
One of the ways to make painting even more affordable is to tackle multiple rooms at once. Our breakdown covers the costs of painting an entire house, listing quotes for up to 5 bedrooms. And that’s for a good reason – it’s often cheaper to decorate a number of rooms as part of the same job, because a painter can work methodically and leave one room to dry while tackling another. When considering the work you need doing, try to get as much painting and decorating as you can done in one hit. Booking several separate jobs will cost you more overall.
The average cost of painting a medium-sized room (3m x 3.3m) is £350.
The cost of painting and decorating isn’t always tied to the length of time it takes to complete the work. Painters usually charge a fixed fee for their services rather than a day rate.
There are a number of factors that could affect the cost of your job. The first is the style and state of your home, and how easy it’ll be for a painter to work in it. A room that’s clear of furnishings or flooring is easier to work in than one that’s full of valuables – though a painter will bring dustsheets and guards to protect your belongings. Bigger rooms, landings and stairwells will usually add to the total cost because they require more work and it’s harder to paint certain areas.
A painter will look at the condition of your walls and ceilings when assessing the work. If there are any damp spots or stains, they’ll need to treat those areas before applying a base coat. This might involve using sealant paints to prepare the surfaces for painting. If your walls are uneven or flaking – often because they’re older – they’ll need a primer applied, which makes the surface smoother, easier to paint on, and more resilient going forward. Any holes and cracks will also need to be filled. This all means extra work for your tradesperson, contributing to the cost.
When it comes to the painting itself, it takes place in multiple stages, so you’re paying for much more than just a quick paint-roller job. Your decorator will usually apply a dedicated undercoat, before painting a second coat if needed, followed by the final coat. Their steady eye will ensure your lines are perfectly straight and they’ll use a range of brushes, rollers, and even sprays (if needed). Most decorators will also have specialist equipment to reach inaccessible points, such as high ceilings or complicated nooks and crannies. This blend of expertise and equipment is what you’re paying for when you hire a painter.
The average cost of removing wallpaper is £150 per room.
Removing wallpaper often results in additional charges from decorators. It’s not a particularly difficult job but it can be time-consuming. Wallpaper removal is usually done with a specialist wallpaper-stripping steam tool, but for stubborn areas a chemical solution can also be applied. Both methods will need the type of products that decorators will own, but they also require expertise. So, you’re paying for the peace of mind that the correct method is being used, as well as the labour hours to strip the paper.
Once the wallpaper is removed, your decorator will need to clean the wall using their tools, and make sure no residue or scraps remain – allowing them to achieve the flawless painted finish that you’re looking for.
Coloured paints usually command a higher price than plain emulsion shades, and painters who mix their own colours may charge more for this service. It’s advisable to negotiate the cost of your paint while agreeing a fixed cost for the work.
If your grand interior designs stretch as far as multiple colours in each room, this can add to the cost. As well as the paint costing more, the additional washing of brushes and rollers takes up time, which needs to be factored in. Then there’s the “cutting in” process (using a small brush to precisely paint edges), which takes longer as additional colours are applied.
It’s also worth remembering that although certain tins of bright-coloured paint may look cheap, the low-grade pigment quality means more coats will be required to cover your walls properly. So, cheap paint isn’t always as cheap as it might seem.
Finally, specialist paint types can be considerably more expensive per square metre than standard paint. For example, you should expect to pay more for tile paint, metal paint, primers, and anything from the many options that await you (or your professional) at a decorator centre or DIY store.
|Standard decorating costs|
|Paint a small room (2metres x 2metres)||£150||£250||£400|
|Paint a medium room (3.3 metres x 3 metres)||£225||£350||£500|
|Paint a large room (6metres x 5 metres)||£350||£450||£600|
|Paint a 2-bed house or flat||£800||£1,800||£2,500|
|Paint a 3-bed house or flat||£1,100||£2,400||£3,000|
|Paint a 4-bed house or flat||£1,600||£2,700||£3,600|
|Paint a 5-bed house or flat||£2,500||£3,690||£4,000|
|Miscellaneous decorating costs|
|Paint a room that was previously wallpapered (4.5 metres x 3metres)||£500||£550||£675|
|Gloss woodwork in one room (3.3 metres x 3 metres)||£150||£200||£250|
|Basic colour paints (2.5 litre)||£10||£30||£35|
|Specialist colour paints (2.5 litre)||£17||£40||£60|
|Primer and undercoats (1 litre)||£10||£20||£20|