how much to paint a house exterior in the uk

How Much to Paint a House Exterior in the UK? (2023 Cost Guide and Money-Saving Tips)

Kerb appeal is everything, especially for homeowners looking to attract potential buyers. However, the cost of painting your external walls depends on several factors, including; wall type, whether it’s been painted before, and most importantly, your decision to do it yourself or hire a professional.

In this UK cost guide, we look at all these factors and determine how much to paint a house exterior in the UK.

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Exterior Wall Type

beautiful house exterior window

The total cost of painting your home’s exterior will depend on the material finish of the external walls.

For a newly rendered home, note that some types of render don’t require painting due to the natural finish and colour of the product, but of course, it’s down to personal preference, and you may wish to paint it anyway. 

On the other hand, if you have a brick finish, be doubly certain of your decision because once it’s painted, there’s no going back! Once the paint has been applied, your walls will need maintenance every 8–10 years to keep them in good condition. Remember that first-time applications will need an additional coat of paint.

An older home with an existing paint finish needing smartening up may need significant repair and preparation. In addition, you might need several coats if you’re going over a darker colour. 

Walls with a pebbledash finish will take longer due to the application process and require a larger quantity of paint than a smooth render. 

An older property finished with a lime-based render will need traditional limewash paint to allow the walls to breathe. You’ll need written permission before proceeding if you have a listed property or your house is within a conservation area or national park. 

What’s Involved in Painting a House Exterior

Painting a house exterior is not a quick job. Below are all the key steps involved:

  1. Scraping off any loose paint
  2. Removing/brushing off the cobwebs and dust
  3. Washing the walls
  4. Applying a fungicide to mouldy patches
  5. Repairing minor damage
  6. Application of a paint surface stabiliser (a fine polymer emulsion that penetrates damaged render)
  7. Application of two coats of Weathershield paint
  8. Waste disposal and full clean-up of the site

Materials Required for Painting the House Exterior

The following is a list of the basic materials and tools required for painting your home’s exterior, together with an approximate cost. The below prices have been obtained from the site

  • Masonry paint — £4 per litre (1 litre should cover 15m2 with more needed for pebbledash or new surfaces)
  • Stabiliser — £3 per litre
  • Minor repairs cement — £20
  • Fungicide — £20
  • Brushes and tubs — £30

Safety Matters

While it might be tempting to skimp costs by avoiding scaffolding, working at height regulations state that a person should use a ladder for no longer than 30 minutes while working at height. In which case, you’ll need to erect scaffolding or an access platform at the very least. 

When Should Your House Exterior be Painted? 

man painting exterior of house

The best time to paint the exterior of your home is during the summer when it’s easier for the paint to dry, as discussed in this article from Which? Trusted Traders. Each coat of paint will need time to dry before adding the next coat. With summer being the most logical time to have this work done, you might need to book a professional in advance to avoid disappointment.

Cost to Hire a Professional Painter in 2023

The labour cost will decide whether to hire a professional or complete the job yourself. As well as house size, prep work, number of coats required and wall finish, the labour rates will also depend on your location. The table below shows how much you can expect to pay when hiring a professional. Prices obtained from

Type of HouseDescriptionTime Taken (Days)Average Cost
TerracedSmooth Walls3–4£650
Semi-DetachedSmooth Walls4–5£750
DetachedSmooth Walls5–6£850
TerracedPebble-Dash Walls5–6£850
Semi-DetachedPebble-Dash Walls7–8£1,000
DetachedPebble-Dash Walls8–9£1,100

Materials vs Labour Split

If the material cost to paint a 3-bed semi-detached property is £150, and the labour cost is £600 (based on 4 days at £150 per day), you’ll be looking at a split of 20% material and 80% labour.

DIY Painting Costs in 2023

if you decide to do this job yourself, below is a basic list of tools required. We’ve also provided two video tutorials to walk you through the process.

DIY Tools Required 

In addition to the materials listed above, you will need: 

  • Masonry roller
  • Masonry brush (a wider one will be required for pebbledash)
  • Extension handle
  • Paint container
  • A platform for working at height 
  • Safety and protective gear

As previously mentioned, you must prepare your walls before painting. The video below from B&Q provides a helpful guide on preparing external walls for painting.

YouTube player

The video below from Crown Paints shows you how to apply masonry paint: 

YouTube player

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Final Thoughts

Painting your home’s exterior is labour intensive and requires some skill. If time is an issue or you don’t feel confident in doing this job, hire a trusted local professional over at Rated People.

When obtaining quotations, ask for a breakdown, and check it includes all the work mentioned above. Obtain at least three quotations for comparison and ask to see testimonials and photos of their work.