How much does painting & decorating cost?

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The nature of painting and decorating jobs can vary hugely, with the average cost ranging from £400 to £6,000 in the UK. Want to know how much different painting and decorating jobs might cost? We’ve created this detailed guide, taking you through everything you need to know about painting and decorating costs. Please note that all painting and decorating costs are estimates and accurate as of 2024.

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Giving a complete overview of painting and decorating jobs is difficult, given how varied the jobs and project spaces can be. Jobs can range from large, expensive projects such as painting several rooms of a house to smaller, short tasks such as painting a door or radiator.

To get the most accurate prices, make sure you have a clear idea of your the you’d like to hire a painter and decorator to complete. Below, we break down costs of the most common painting and decorating jobs, to help you plan your next home improvement task or large-scale transformations.

We'll cover the following topics in this pricing guide:

  1. Average painting and decorating costs
  2. How long does painting and decorating take?
  3. How to reduce painting and decorating costs
  4. FAQ
  5. Your painting and decorating checklist

Average painting and decorating costs

Whether it's your own home or a commercial space, hiring a painter and decorator can transform a space, creating a brand-new look and an inviting environment. Even a job as small as a fresh lick of paint can go a long way in improving the look and feel of a hallway or small room. 

Below, we’ve outlined the average costs of several painting and decorating jobs. These prices are averages, however, so if you’re looking for a more detailed breakdown of painting and decorating costs, keep reading. 

Core painting and decorating jobsAverage price range
Hiring a painter and decorator£250 to £400 per day/£35 per hour
Exterior painting£20 per m²
Painting a medium-sized room£400
Painting multiple rooms (labour only)£12 per m²
Wallpapering (labour only)£14 per m²
Painting a door£90 per door
Painting a radiator£15 per radiator
Painting woodwork£12.50 per m²

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How much does painting and decorating cost?

While some rooms may need the odd lick of paint, or a feature wall painted to brighten up the space, others may need a full room makeover. Hiring a painter and decorator can be a fantastic way to ensure a premium finish on your project, rather than attempting the work yourself.

Often, painting and decorating tasks can be time consuming, so hiring a tradesperson can help get the job done quicker than you could yourself, so that you can enjoy your newly decorated space sooner.

  • If you’re looking to complete a full-scale transformation of your space, prices will vary based on the following factors:
  • The materials being used
  • The size and scale of the space being decorated
  • The time required to complete the project 
  • The condition of the walls 

Depending on the types and quality of materials you’re using, and the size of the space you’re decorating, prices can vary. On average, you can expect to pay, for example, an average of £450 for wallpapering a medium-sized room. 

Another key factor is the condition of the walls, and whether any surfaces need preparing before decorating. This will also increase labour costs and will also mean a painting or decorating job will take slightly longer. 

Cost of hiring a painter and decorator per day

Hiring a painter and decorator is a reliable way to ensure your project is completed to a good standard, and that it’s finished in good time.

A day rate for a painter and decorator ranges from £250 to £400. This rate will vary based on your location and the experience of the tradesperson. If you want to hire a painter and decorator by the hour, you can expect to pay an hourly rate of £35

You should also be aware that, in addition to labour costs, you will also be paying for the costs of materials, so be sure to factor this into your budget. 

Cost of exterior painting

If you’re looking to paint exterior walls on a house or commercial property, this will usually be priced based on m². The average cost of exterior wall painting is £20 per m². Exterior wall painting tends to be slightly more expensive, however, this is a price worth paying if you want a long-lasting treatment that can withstand temperature changes and the natural elements. 

Cost of painting a medium-sized room

The average medium-sized room (5m x 4m) costs around £400 to paint. When preparing a room, be sure that surfaces are in good condition and are ready to be painted, otherwise this will increase the time and cost of decorating your space. 

Cost of painting multiple rooms 

If multiple rooms need painting, the cost will increase based on the size of each room and the number of rooms. On average, a single bedroom will cost £12 per m²

However, while the cost will increase based on the size of each room, there are usually time savings to be made by hiring a painter and decorator. For example, a tradesperson can multitask, painting one coat in one room, and moving onto the other while that coat dries, and so on. 

While you can calculate cost based on the size of the exact room, and the materials you’re using, as examples, you can expect to pay around £2,000 to paint a two-bed flat and £6,000 for a five-bed house. 

For an exact quote for your space, you should consult your chosen painter and decorator.

Cost of wallpapering 

The cost of hiring a painter and decorator to wallpaper your space is £14 per m²

Be mindful that this only covers the labour needed to wallpaper your space, so be sure to factor in the costs of materials. 

Cost of painting a door 

If your doors need some fresh paint, you can expect to pay around £90 per door

Cost of painting a radiator 

Painting radiators can be an awkward job but can leave your rooms looking much brighter. For this, you can expect to pay £15 per radiator

Cost of painting woodwork 

Painting woodwork often requires extra processes like treating the wood and using protective products. This is usually calculated based per m², so this will usually be around £12.50 per m².

Additional Costs 

All the costs quoted above cover the basics of painting and decorating, such as doing base coats, simple prep work and second coats. However, if your walls aren’t properly prepared or are in poor condition, this will increase the amount of labour needed, and the overall costs of hiring a painter and decorator. 

Additionally, if the plaster on your walls is faulty, you’ll need to fix this before any decorating work can begin. Also, if you lift wallpaper and find holes or cracks in your walls, these will need to be addressed. 

With this in mind, you should be sure to properly survey the area you’re decorating before work begins. 

How long does painting and decorating take?

When decorating a space, you often need to complete preparation work, leave time for paint to dry and to clean up afterwards. Below, we’ve listed some expected times for each task, including how time might vary based on the number of rooms being decorated.

Core painting and decorating jobsTime taken
Exterior paintingOne to two days (depending on size of property)
Painting a medium sized roomFour to six hours
Painting multiple rooms (up to five)Three to four days
Wallpapering a single roomSix to eight hours
Painting a doorTwo hours
Painting a radiatorTwo hours
Painting woodworkThree to four hours

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How to reduce painting and decorating costs

Source materials yourself – If you want to decrease costs, finding your own supplies is a great way to save money. By shopping around DIY stores, or by looking locally, you can search for the best deals and buy paints and wallpapers suited to your budget. By saving on materials, you can allocate more of your budget to hiring a trusted professional who can complete the job safely and to an excellent standard.

Explore cheaper, and more gradual options – While it's wonderful to dream of a whole house transformation with beautiful wallpaper and freshly painted walls, the reality is that transformations take time. Rather than relying on doing all your changes in one go, look to break the jobs and costs up gradually so that they are more manageable. 

Shop around for different quotes – When looking for a painter and decorator, you can shop around to explore different quotes in your area. Using MyBuilder, you can compare different quotes from a variety of trusted tradespeople local to you, all in one place. That way, you can find the best quotes that suit your budget. 

Find a reliable tradesperson – Often, hiring someone can help you save money in the long term. Although it may be tempting to try to save money on labour costs by completing the work yourself, this might mean you spend more on materials if you struggle with the task or make mistakes along the way. By hiring a local painter and decorator, you’ll ensure that your project is completed effectively, and to a good standard. 

Prepare the space well – Costs can stack up if you haven’t thoroughly prepared your space for painting and decorating. Before you hire someone, check that your walls are properly plastered, and take wallpaper off to see any potential damage or issues lying underneath. This will help you avoid extra unexpected labour costs. 



Can I decorate myself?

Although you can decorate yourself, the finish may not be up to a professional standard. Hiring a painter and decorator is the best way to ensure the best possible results. 

Is it worth hiring a painter and decorator?

Hiring a painter and decorator is a terrific way to ensure a high-quality finish for all your painting and decorating projects. Professional painters and decorators come equipped with the right tools and can also advise on colour choices and style. Hired professionals can also prepare the space, and clean up afterwards, so that you enjoy your newly decorated space straight away. 

What preparation should I do before hiring a painter and decorator?

To prepare your walls, you must make sure they are dry, and free from grease, dust, holes and cracks, flaky plaster, peeling paint and leftover wallpaper. You should also try to remove as much furniture as possible or place it in the centre of the room with protective sheets covering it. 

Your painting and decorating checklist

Prepare your space – When decorating your house, you’ll need to plan accordingly to move furniture and allow space to complete painting or put up wallpaper. You’ll also need to ensure walls are ready to be painted or wallpapered onto.

Consider your budget – When it comes to transforming your space, make sure you’ve planned your finances accordingly. Although big projects are exciting to plan, it’s okay to work on your spaces slowly, and gradually decorate over time. 

Shop around for different quotes – If you’re on a budget and want to find quotes that best suit your finances, then make sure to shop around. With MyBuilder, you can compare prices, so that you can find a tradesperson who suits your budget.

MyBuilder can help you find painters and decorators local to you. Simply create your free job post, and you’ll be matched with reliable tradespeople in your area.