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One of the easiest ways to breathe new life into your home is with a fresh lick of paint. This simple, yet affordable project can transform dull, tired-looking rooms into bright and inviting spaces.
But how much does a paint job cost? Like any project, the final cost will vary based on the amount of preparation required, the size of the room and whether you decide to do-it-yourself or hire professional help.
In this article, we’ll break down the costs involved in painting a room; so you can decide if you should get a tradesman in for the job or pick up that paintbrush yourself!
What to Consider Before You Begin
When working out your budget, take a close look at the room you're going to be painting and check that there aren't any areas that need to be repaired. If there are, this will need to be factored into your overall costs.
For example, do you need to clean your walls? Paint will not apply properly to a greasy surface or a wall marred with nicotine stains - so you’ll need to clear them up first. Wallpaper will also need to be removed, and any holes or old fixtures will need to be filled before work can begin.
Next, measure the size of your room. If you're hiring a professional, providing these measurements will help you get an accurate quote.
But even if you're going the DIY route, you'll need to know the dimensions so you can figure out how much paint you'll need. Factor in extra costs if you're painting these areas too:
Prepping, Labour & Materials
When it comes to painting a room, prepping can often take as long as the painting. This checklist will give you an idea of how much time you'll need to plan for your project:
- Shopping for materials – 1 hour
- Removing furniture and covering floors – 30 minutes
- Cleaning walls – 1-2 hours
- Stripping wallpaper - 3-6 hours
- Tape up boundary areas like trim or skirting boards – 45 minutes
- Painting walls – 90 minutes (per coat; two is recommended for good cover and a lasting finish)
- Painting trim, windowsills, skirting boards, doors – 2 ½ to 3 hours
Our guide to painting a room with no mess and the video below provides everything you need to know when preparing a room for painting.
Of course, if you undertake the project yourself, there’ll be no labour cost apart from your time. That said, if you decide to hire a professional, doing the prep work before they arrive will reduce the labour costs you incur - as all your contractor needs to do is apply the paint.
If you're being charged by the hour, this is great news as you just saved yourself a few hours worth of labour costs.
For a day’s work, a decent price-range for professional services is between £200 and £500, depending on room dimensions and whether you go with a local company or a larger, more well-known service.
On average, the materials required for painting a room will cost between £100 – £150, although you could see a higher price tag depending on the products you pick.
One tin of paint should cover about 37 square meters, but in addition to the paint, you'll also need to purchase rollers; brushes; masking tape and sandpaper.
A painting tarp is also recommended to avoid getting paint on the floor, but old sheets will work just as well. For cleaning your walls, you’ll need to purchase white spirits or sugar soap.
Also, if you're redoing your detail work, you might need different brush sizes and an additional paint colour or stain to achieve the look you’re going for.
Painting a Room: DIY or Hire a Pro?
There are pros and cons to both DIY and professional services.
When you go DIY, you’ll save money; but if you're inexperienced, you may not achieve the results you were hoping for and waste plenty of your precious time. Even worse, you may run into complications that you don't know how to address.
Using a trusted professional service will guarantee exceptional work. However, it can more than double the costs of doing it on your own.
Let’s take a look at a simple cost comparison below.
*This chart is based on an average size room of 3.3m x 3m*
£200 (for 1 and ½ days)
Note: scroll left/right to view the entire table above
As you can see, when using professional services, you're paying extra for labour and experience. It is important to note that professional companies will mark up the cost of the products which increases the cost of their bid.
You can always provide your own materials as a way to eliminate this extra cost if you wish.
Tips and Advice
When picking your contractor, be sure to ask plenty of questions before making your final decision. For example, if you're not providing your own materials, check to see what brand of paint they use, to ensure you aren't being overcharged or receiving low-quality material.
Also, do they charge by the hour or at a fixed rate? Fixed-rate is often a better choice, as this means that no matter what complications come up, your budget will stay the same, minus extra materials. Fixed-rate also motivates the contractor to get the job done quicker!
If you’re worried about unscrupulous contractors - Rated People offers a great way to find trustworthy and highly-skilled decorators in your area.
Home improvement projects don't have to be expensive to look good. In the world of DIY, painting a room is one of the quickest and simplest ways to improve the appearance of your home.
With a little research and preparation, this is an easy job to accomplish yourself; however, if you’d rather get the pro’s in to do it for you, expect to pay around £300 all in for labour and materials.
We recommend checking out Rated People to find the best, most trustworthy tradesmen in your area.
We hope you found this article helpful. If so, please let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share with your friends!