Painter and decorator cost guide

You’ve probably been browsing through the hundreds of colours and designs available for decorating your home and may even have taken samples back to consider. In which case, it’s time to start changing the appeal of your home and speak to an expert painter or decorator in your area.

The decorator will visit your home, take a look at the work you want completed and provide a quote for the job. As always, in order to get the best cost possible make sure to compare three or four quotes. Don’t take the first price that comes your way as there is always room for negotiation.

The cost of decorating varies quite significantly because of the range of jobs available. In most occasions the most expensive part is the labour, but factors such as the size space, materials needed and workload will play an important part too.

With a written quote from a professional painter or decorator you should expect something along the lines of the following:


For smaller jobs around the home, painters and decorators will tend to charge per job. For example, painting a room or plastering will probably take a couple of days and normally costs between £150 and £300 excluding VAT. For larger jobs, such as a full house project you’ll be looking to pay per day. This is normally because the full extent of work required may only become clear once the task has been started.

Reputable painters and decorators will supply their own materials, buying only the tried and tested products. There will be a guarantee for these. Remember, decoration isn’t something you should be carrying out too frequently, so paying out a little more for quality products is well worthwhile.

By having the painter buy the materials they’ll likely know the best products on the market, how much you’ll need and where to purchase them from.

Of course, this isn’t a must and if need be you can purchase your own products instead. Remember though that these are the experts in the industry, so it’s wise to take the advice offered out.


With thorough preparation, the end result is likely to be much better for you. All furniture and fittings should be removed from the area to make it an easier task and to avoid any potential damage. If this isn’t possible then they should be placed in the centre of the room and covered with a dustsheet.

Some tips for preparing the walls would be to carry out some of the work yourself. This can help to cut down on fees and would involve removing wallpaper, washing the walls, and protecting woodwork with protective covering. Extensive work may be best left to the expert though.


It’s likely that the painter of decorator will offer to carry out other small tasks which will help improve the finish of your house. This could be fitting coving, a dado rail, varnishing window frames or carrying out woodwork repairs.
Of course, only accept these extras if you feel they need doing. Once the decorator has completed the work he’ll expect the full sum to be paid, unless you have discrepancies.

Remember not to pay a large deposit, and in a lot of instances there will be no upfront costs. If it’s a larger job you may be requested to pay in instalments.

So once you have met the decorator and agreed a price, all that’s left is to set a start date for work to commence. Quality painters and decorators aren’t likely to be ready to start tomorrow (I’d worry if they could), so be prepared to wait a couple of weeks for the work to start.

Tom Crosswell

I have been managing online projects since 1999 and I'm a experienced marketeer, who is well versed in international brand management, online business strategy and developing long term relationships. Through my academic and professional background I am a specialist in generating online loyalty towards brands. My experience has taught me that ultimately business is about relationships and people. For more information see my Google+ page.