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Cost guide: painters and decorators

A fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to give your home a new look. We find out about costs for some straightforward decorating jobs.

Whether you want to brighten up your interiors or smarten up the outside walls, a fresh coat of paint is one of the most economic ways to revitalise your home. If you're a fan of clean lines, a professional painter and decorator can achieve a flawless finish that is hard to match.

Some of our endorsed traders tell us that bold is back if you're a fan of colour. But you can always keep your walls neutral and add in an accent colour - see our simple solutions and big ideas on how to cheer up your home for more tips.

Which? Trusted Traders has endorsed painters and decorators in your local area to help with your home decoration projects. All our endorsed traders have gone through our rigorous assessment process to ensure they run their businesses fairly and in accordance with all current regulations. In the unlikely event that anything should go wrong, you would have access to an alternative dispute resolution service to help resolve any problems.

In 2012, Which? surveyed recommended painters and decorators to find out how much you should spend on a variety of common jobs. We’ve contacted some of our Which? Trusted Traders endorsed painters and decorators in early 2018 to bring you a snapshot of more up to date prices.

Painter and decorator prices and completion times

These prices are designed to be a guide, rather than a definitive statement of costs for particular jobs.

All decorating jobs will vary according to the precise details of the project, which is why your trader will normally want to visit your property before providing you with a quote for any work.

The condition of your property - the underlying state of the walls and how much preparation your decorator will need to do will affect overall costs as it can make it harder (or easier) for your decorator to complete particular projects. The precise specification of the materials you use - the type of paint and number of coats required will also affect costs. 

There will also be regional variations and your painter and decorator may need to cover transport or parking costs

All of our prices include labour and materials (unless specified)  but exclude VAT.

Wallpapering and Ceilings

Job

Details

Typical price quoted

Price range

Typical time to complete job

Wallpaper a room

Room size approx 14'6” x 11' (4.42m x 3.35m). Line and paper. Assume walls are straight and sound with no existing wallpaper to remove. Customer supplying own wallpaper.

£400

£290-£500

2–3 days

Paint a room that was previously wallpapered

Room size approx 14'6” x 11' (4.42m x 3.35m). Remove old wallpaper. Assume walls have minor imperfections. Cover with lining paper. Emulsion on top.

£550

£480-£675

3-4 days

Remove Artex from a ceiling, plaster and repaint

Room size approx 14'6” x 11' (4.42m x 3.35m). Get rid of existing Artex, replaster and paint.

£650

£515-£800

3-4 days

Use our lighting design tips to brighten up your home.

Room painting

Job

Details

Typical price quoted

Price range

Typical time to complete job

Paint a room - small

Room size approx 7' x 7'1” (2.13m x 2.16m). Repaint walls and ceiling with two coats of light coloured emulsion. Assuming existing plaster is in good condition.

£270

£250-£300

1-2 days

Paint a room - medium

Room size approx 10'10” x 9'10” (3.3m x 3m). Repaint walls and ceiling with two coats of light coloured emulsion. Assuming existing plaster is in good condition.

£296

£250-£375

1-2 days

Paint a room - large

Room size approx 20' x 16'6” (6.1m x 5.03m). Repaint walls and ceiling with two coats of light coloured emulsion. Assuming existing plaster is in good condition.

£515

£400-£600

2-3 days

Follow our tips to bring natural elements into your home.

Hallway painting and woodwork

Job

Details

Typical price quoted

Price range

Typical time to complete job

Repaint upstairs and downstairs hallway and stairs in an average three-bed semi-detached house

Assume existing plaster walls are in good condition and currently painted a light colour. Repaint walls only (not woodwork) in downstairs hallway, upstairs hallway and stair area.

£550

£476-£700

1-2 days (walls only)

Gloss woodwork in one room - existing woodwork good quality

Room size approx 10'10” (3.3m x 3m). Assume existing gloss is good quality, just discoloured. Rub down, undercoat and gloss. Skirting boards and one door frame. No doors or windows.

£205

£185-£250

1-2 days

Gloss woodwork in one room - existing woodwork poor quality

Room size approx 10'10” x 9'10” (3.3m x 3m). Remove old gloss and prepare wood. Undercoat and gloss. Skirting boards and one door frame. No doors or windows.

£330

£240-£405

2 days

Exterior painting

Job

Details

Typical price quoted

Price range

Typical time to complete job

Paint exterior of average three-bed semi-detached house

Assuming render is in good condition and just needs a repaint.

n/a

£900-£1500

2-4 days

It depends on your house, but traders will probably need scaffolding to complete this job safely.

Scaffolding is expensive and could add a lot to your quote. Some traders gave us quotes including scaffolding and some didn’t (hence the large price range). Make sure you ask traders about this to help you compare quotes more easily. Find out more about using scaffolding for home improvement jobs.

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