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Painter and decorator prices

A quick and easy way to give your home a fresh look and feel is with a lick of paint. For those of you without the time or enthusiasm to put the overalls on and start painting, we’ve put together this cost guide to show you average painter and decorator prices in the UK.

The nature of painting and decorating projects means the average cost can vary massively, with common costs ranging from £400 – £6,000. That said, the average painter and decorator’s day rate is around £190 per day.

Whether you’re redecorating to update your home, preparing to sell it, changing how you use one of your rooms, or simply wanting to brighten up the paintwork, a fresh paint job can do wonders for the look (and value) of your home.

We spoke to the online estimators at My Build Estimate – a professional estimating company monitored by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). They’ve provided us with their estimated average prices for painters and decorators in the UK.

The prices shown in this guide refer to regular trade paints, so if you’re planning to use more premium brand paints (the likes of Farrow and Ball or Little Green Man) you’ll need to factor in additional costs.

How much does painting and decorating cost?

Painter and decorator pricesAverage cost (range - low)Average cost (range - high)Average cost
Painter and decorator day rate£180£200£190
Painting a house (per m2 floor space)£35£55£45
Painting a house (per m2 wall area)£7£10£8.50
Painting a medium-sized room--£400
Painting a 2-bed flat£1,500£2,500£2,000
Painting a 5-bed house £5,500£7,500£6,000
Painting hallways, landing and stairs£650£850£750
Painting ceilings£250£400£350
Exterior painting (3-bed semi)£1,100£1,500£1,300
Exterior painting (4-bed detached)£1,750£2,500£2,000
Wallpaper a room (labour only)£350£500£450
Painting a door (both sides)--£50
Painting woodwork (per m2)--£5.50

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

There are a number of factors that will affect the cost of painting and decorating, including:

  • Type and quality of materials being used
  • Size of the space being decorated
  • Time required to complete the job
  • Condition of the walls (additional preparation work will add to the decorating costs)

Painter and decorator prices

Painter and decorators day rate

Average UK painter and decorator day rate: £190

In addition to materials, you’ll need to pay the labour for the tradesperson carrying out the work. The average day rate for a painter and decorator will vary depending on where you live, their experience and the type of work you need doing.

Cost to decorate a room

Average cost to paint a room: £400

The size of a room can vary massively, so for the sake of this guide we’ve estimated the average cost to paint a medium size room of approximately 4.5m by 4m. The larger the room the greater the decorating costs.

Cost to paint a house

Average cost to paint a 2-bedroom flat: £2,000
Average cost to paint a 5-bedroom house: £6,000

If you’re looking to paint your whole house, this will increase the price. Not only will the job take more time, but it will require a lot more materials (paint, wallpaper, etc).

To find out more, read through our dedicated guide about the costs involved in painting a house exterior.

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Painter and decorator prices guide

Cost to wallpaper a room

Average labour cost to wallpaper a room (4.4m x 3.3m): £450

Once you’ve chosen the wallpaper you want to use, it’s worth speaking with your local painter and decorator before buying it. They may be able to get trade discounts which will help keep the decorating costs down. The price of those materials will be additional to the decorating labour costs.

Cost to paint ceilings

Average cost to paint a ceiling: £350

Ceilings tend to be one of the trickier parts of a room to paint. You have to have suitable ladders and longer painting tools to do the job properly. And also, you need to apply the paint in a way that doesn’t cause drips or irregularities in the finished paintwork.

Cost to paint hall, stairs, and landing

Average cost to paint hallways, landing and stairs: £750

One of the joys of hiring a professional painter and decorator is that they deal with all the fiddly bits of decorating. Hallways, landings and stairs come with lots of nooks and painting and decorating challenges, worth paying the price of hiring a professional so you can let them deal with it.

Home exterior painting cost

Exterior painting costs

Average exterior painting cost (3-bedroom semi-detached property): £1,300
Average exterior painting cost (4-bedroom detached property): £2,000

The outside of your home is subject to a lot of damaging elements like wind, rain, sun and constant temperature changes. Making sure you have a quality, long-lasting treatment for the exterior painting of your house is important.

Additional decorating costs to consider

On top of the cost of labour and materials of your painting and decorating job, there are some other important elements that you might need to budget for. These include:

  • Removing wallpaper
  • Plastering
  • Painting at height
  • Windows and skirting boards
  • Re-skimming or patching holes

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Painter and decorator cost calculator

To calculate the cost of your painting and decorating project, you’ll need to factor in the size and complexity of the area that you need painting. The larger the area and the more complex the project, the higher the cost. You’ll also need to factor in any prep work needed, such as plastering or wall/ceiling preparation. And don’t forget the material costs of the paint – if you’re going for a more expensive high-quality brand of paint then you’re going to pay a higher price.

Painter and decorator hourly rates

The average cost of a painter and decorator is around £15 to £20 per hour – depending on the individual tradesperson, their experience and where you live. If the painting job is going to take several days then you may be quoted a day rate, which is usually around £190 per day – again depending on the painter and the work required.

Painter and decorator quotes

We always recommend obtaining at least three quotes from our trusted tradespeople. Our request a quote feature is perfect for getting quotes – you post details about the job you want doing and we’ll send it out to local tradespeople in your area. Try it out!

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Can I paint and decorate myself?

paint on new plaster

Yes you can. Painting and decorating is one of the most achievable DIY jobs for most homeowners, who have the time and enthusiasm to do it.

However, if that’s not for you we would recommend hiring a local painting and decorating expert to do the job.

Benefits of hiring a professional painter and decorator

Although many homeowners will take on decorating jobs themselves, there are some major benefits for hiring a professional painter and decorator to carry out the work:

  • You get professional advice about style and colour choice.
  • It saves you time so you can spend it enjoying your home instead of working on it.
  • Professional painters and decorators come equipped with all the right tools and supplies for the job (so you don’t need to buy paint brushes, dust sheets, etc).
  • Experienced decorators know how to prepare surfaces to get the best finished results.
  • They’ll clean up everything afterwards, so you can immediately start enjoying your freshly decorated home.
  • You’ll have peace of mind knowing the job will be done thoroughly and to a high standard.

Useful painter and decorator checklist

  • First, decide whether you want to do the job yourself or hire a professional.
  • Always speak to a local painting and decorating expert to get advice on the choice of colour or materials to use for your decorating project.
  • Always hire a professional with painting and decorating experience.
  • When hiring a professional painter and decorator, shop around to get the fairest and competitive prices.
  • Speak with your local painter and decorator experts to make the most of their trade discounts when buying materials for the job.

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Tell us what you think

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What others think of this article:

Tom Blake

Hi Samuel, thank you for reading our painter and decorator cost guide. That's fantastic to hear you're considering starting your own business. I recommend that you look into becoming a Checkatrade member, it would be great to have you onboard. Do check out all the benefits of joining Checkatrade HERE.

Samuel Nimubona

I found the information very useful because I want to open my painting and decorating business

Olivia Scammell

Thank you Sue!


Really impressed with cost guide - well done checkatrade

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