Painting and Decorating Prices (Updated for 2018)

The cost of painting and decorating your property will vary greatly depending on the extent of the project.

A single room, for example, should cost between £375 and £500. The higher end of the scale may seem steep, but in areas such as London, or in the case of an extremely well-renowned decorator, this is standard pricing.

In order to save money, it’s recommended that you hire a painter and decorator for one large job, rather than several smaller standalone ones.

Average prices for the cost of painting and decorating in the UK are as follows:

  • 2-Bedroom House/Flat
    £1,500 – £2,000
  • 3-Bedroom House/Flat
    £2,000 – £3,000
  • 4-Bedroom House/Flat
    £2,500 – £3,500
  • 5-Bedroom House/Flat
    £3,500 – £4,200

These costs are based on the assumptions that your plaster is in good condition and that your walls have existing paintwork. If walls were previously papered, and the plaster is in bad condition, you can expect to add 50-75% of the total painting price to your initial costing. Additionally, in London or the South, these prices are likely to be considerably higher.

Painting your house is a great way to make the place your own and add a bit of personal flair. Much of the excitement comes from choosing the colours – what exactly is the difference between ‘duck-egg blue’ and ‘soft mint’, anyway?

However; once the first coat is drying on the walls, you’ve got paint spots all over your hair, and your arms are feeling disproportionately heavy; reality starts to set in. It’s at this point that many people turn to a professional painter and decorator to get the job done.

It’s time to call an expert in – but how do you know you’re not being overcharged? How can you trust this person to do the best job for you?

Using the Tradesmen Prices form just below will allow you to access 3-4 quotes from local painter and decorators, who will be able to assess the work that needs doing and give you a competitive estimate for it.


One thing you can do first is to get quotes from local roofers in your area. To do this fill in the form below:

What’s involved in painting and decorating?

Though the trade itself suffers from a less than favourable reputation, there are many decorators out there who are skilled, very trustworthy, and extremely hardworking.

In fact, an experienced painter and decorator will be able to do far more than simply cover up that ageing magnolia in your living room. These additional services could include:

  • Help with choosing colours
    If you’re stuck at the first gate, you may want to ask your painter and decorator what they think about the colours you’re considering. Remember, an experienced decorator will have painted hundreds of homes before they even stepped foot inside of yours – their opinion and critical eye could be invaluable to freshening up your interior.
  • Finding specific items
    If you live in a period home, for example, it can be difficult to find genuine items or furnishings which complement the appearance of your property. A painter and decorator will likely be able to source you items like ceiling roses, coving, or skirting that matches the originals within your home.
  • Completing small jobs
    Every home has small bits of work that need completing, but which don’t merit hiring someone to do them. If you have professional painter and decorators in, they’ll be able to quickly touch up old paintwork or find you a colour match for that wall your niece decided to decorate with a permanent marker.

A professional decorator will have plenty other skills up their sleeves but make sure you’re including all the work that needs doing in your quote request. There’s no use in expecting them to do the little jobs you didn’t do yourself, and for no extra cost.


Additional Cost of Painting and Decorating

If you’ve budgeted solely for painting, you may get a shock when your professional decorator assesses your property and includes things like plastering or sealant in their quote. Before painting, walls must be prepared. Otherwise, paint runs the risk of peeling off, becoming susceptible to mould or damp, and even being applied over an uneven surface.

If your existing walls feature wallpaper which you would like to get rid of, it’s cheaper to strip it yourself than to pay a decorator to do the same thing.

There are a number of problems your decorator may experience before they even pick up a paintbrush so please be sure to include supplies and allowances in your budget. For example – damp patches cannot simply be painted over. They must be identified and covered with a sealant, which needs time to dry before painting can begin.

Nicotine stained ceilings must be washed with sugar soap before any painting can take place. Peeling gloss paint on woodwork requires what is known as a ‘burn-off’ – this takes a fair amount of time and will push up labour costs significantly, especially if the woodwork is extensive such as on stair bannisters or wall panelling.

Painting and Decorating FAQ

Why would someone want to hire a painter and decorator?

Though paintwork is often seen as a DIY job, it can be highly beneficial to hire a professional painter and decorator, especially if the area to be covered is particularly large.

More precision-based painting techniques like cutting-in can be difficult for those without painting experience or a steady hand. Additional complications like damp, mould, or plastering may occur before painting is due to take place, and often, an amateur will not have the skills necessary to resolve these problems.

Also, a professional decorator will be able to advise you on colour schemes and matches to help you decide exactly which you’d like to choose.

What are the disadvantages of hiring a painter and decorator? Are there alternatives to hiring a professional?

If the decorating at hand is simply a patch job, you may be better off doing it yourself. It’s better to call in the professionals for bigger jobs and have them complete smaller ones at the same time, than to hire a decorator to paint over the scribbles in your hallway.

You may find yourself being quoted a price that’s too good to be true. In this industry, it’s vital that you know how much experience your professional painter and decorator actually has – experienced professionals charge more, and for good reason, too!

What are the main benefits of hiring a painter and decorator?

When you hire a professional painter and decorator, you’re saving yourself a lot of time spent stressing over the finish of your walls and skirting boards. With their expertise and ability to multitask, you’ll soon find your rooms looking fresh and new.

And as mentioned previously, a painter and decorator will be able to both identify and rectify any problems regarding the suitability of your existing walls. Should plastering be necessary, they’ll either be able to do it themselves, or find someone who can.

Should my painter and decorator be a member of anything (trade body, government registration scheme, etc?) What sort of questions should I be asking them?

There are no qualifications necessary to be a painter and decorator which is why experience in this industry is the true marker of the ability to do the work well.

A professional painter and decorator should be able to reassure you with evidence of previous projects that – at the very least – the following are within their skillset:

  • Clean brushwork
  • Ability to hang wallpaper

You may also wish to ask them whether they are capable of:

  • Tiling
  • Plastering

A skilled and reliable painter and decorator will be happy to show you the end result of previous jobs, which may even help you decide on a colour scheme or specific approach for your own home.

For real peace of mind, you may with to work with a member of the Painting & Decorating Association.

How long does painting and decorating take?

Depending on the size of the project at hand, the time taken to paint and decorate can vary. Average time taken is shown below:

  • 2-Bedroom House/Flat
    Up to a week
  • 3-Bedroom House/Flat
    Around a week
  • 4-Bedroom House/Flat
    7-10 days
  • 5-Bedroom House/Flat
    1 or 2 weeks

Remember that should your walls require plastering, the length of time the entire project will take is set to increase drastically. Plaster sometimes needs up to a week to dry.

Why should I get painting and decorating quotes from Tradesmen Prices?

When looking for painting and decorating quotes, it’s vital to remember that you’re paying primarily for labour and experience. Prices vary greatly across the country, and you can expect to pay more in London.

Before you hire someone, you may want to ask if they’re offering a day rate or a fixed price. The latter is preferable, as the former doesn’t account for complications which may arise and extra, unforseen very quickly begin to push the boundaries of your budget.

Using the Tradesmen Prices form below, you can apply for 3-4 painting and decorating quotes from honest, local tradespeople who will be able to deliver professional quality, at competitive prices.

Use the quotes you receive to compare against ones you may already have and secure the best price possible for your painting and decorating project.

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