Painters & Decorators

1 April 2022 – 7 Minute Read

The cost of painting and decorating

Planning your next interior design project can be incredibly exciting but you may be wondering how much to budget for painting and decorating costs.

Working with an experienced decorator is always an advantage — they will be able to help turn your plans into a finished project, and advise on more cost-effective ways to complete each piece of work.

With that in mind, this useful guide has everything you need to know about the price of painting and decorating services. From finding the right tradesman for your needs, to the different ways your decorating team may charge you — planning your budget will be made simple.

Painting and decorating cost guide

Depending on the scale of your renovations, your decorator will most likely charge you per wall or per room for standard plastering, wallpapering, or painting services.

If you are looking for help with wall preparation or fixture painting, you might instead be charged an hourly fee, but you will often be able to discuss different rates with your painter and decorator to find an option that is right for you.

In most cases, you will also need to cover the cost of supplies — especially if you have a specific paint shade or wallpaper pattern in mind — but plastering or wall preparation work will often include the cost of materials in the overall fee.

You should also keep in mind that custom work will generally cost more — especially if you are based in the London area, where rates are slightly higher on average.

Standard painting and decorating rates

Depending on the scale of the job you have in mind, your painter and decorator will develop your overall quote in a number of different ways:

What is the painter and decorator hourly rate?

For smaller jobs, like door or skirting board painting, you will often be charged an hourly rate for the work completed.

In the UK, the average hourly rate for a painter and decorator is £27.50 , but this can reach as high as £40 per hour if your job requires multiple painters, or is a complex custom job.

If you are hiring a plasterer to help with wall preparation, expect to pay £30 per hour for their services on average.

How much does a painter and decorator cost per day?

The average cost per day for a painter and decorator is £200 in the UK, while a plasterer can charge £185 .

You will often be charged per day if you are having single walls painted, or if you are having larger fixtures worked on — such as stair railings. Paying a day rate will often be cheaper than paying per hour of work so it is worth discussing your options with your decorator.

What is the decorator price per room?

For larger projects, your decorator will most likely charge you per room. On average, you can expect to pay £265 for each room your team paints, and £390 for each room they wallpaper.

However, this will vary depending on the size of the room you are having decorated, and the amount of work the space needs.

For example, refreshing a small room with new paint will be much cheaper than removing old wallpaper, replastering, and repainting a larger room. You may be able to cut costs by only painting some of the walls in a room — for example a single small wall can cost £75 to decorate, and 2 walls can cost £160 on average.

How much does a painter charge per square meter?

Interestingly, your painting and decorating cost per square meter will slightly decrease as you cover more space.

For example, for a 10m2 area, you can expect to pay £185 on average, which is £18.50 per m2. However, for a 30m2 space, you can expect to pay £530 , which is £17.60 per m2.

It is worth discussing your rate per square meter with your painting and decorating team, and they will be able to advise you on the most cost-effective strategy for your specific space.

Materials costs

As you might expect, the quality and style of materials you choose will affect your overall fee.

For example, matte paint tends to be slightly more affordable, and is generally easier to layer on top of old paint. You can expect to pay around £10.50 per litre, but this can reach £20 for premium varieties. Gloss and satin paint tend to be slightly more expensive, and can require you to prepare the wall before application. Expect to pay an average of £26.50 per litre for gloss, and £12 per litre for satin.

If you prefer wallpaper, there is a huge range of options to suit any budget. The average roll covers a 5m2  area, and can cost anything from £60 to £160 . It is best to work with your decorating team to plan out the exact amount of wallpaper you need and avoid wasting money on surplus supplies.

Average rates for painting and decorating jobs

Whether you prefer wallpaper or paint, here is how much you can expect to pay for individual decorating services:

Wall preparation

Depending on the scale of your decoration project, your team may need to prepare your walls before they are able to start work.

This process will involve stripping old wallpaper, sanding, and filling any cracks or holes that might be uncovered — and can take 1-2 days depending on the size of your room. You will most likely be charged the standard daily rate of £200 , so a 2-day job can cost £400.


For more in-depth renovations, you may want to completely replace the plaster in your room before you begin painting and decorating.

To replaster an entire room, you will pay £600 on average — whereas replastering 1 wall can cost just £200 . Plastering your ceiling can add £360 to your total fee, depending on the size of the area.

Painting a single wall

The rate you pay per wall can vary according to the size of the room. The average room size in the UK is 15m2, so for a single wall, you will pay around £215 .

For a small wall of 10m2 or less, you will be charged £75 on average. However, for a large single wall of 20 to 30 meters squared, you will be charged £290 .

If you want to paint 3 individual walls, expect to pay £155 for a smaller space, and £490 for a larger one.

Painting a room

To paint an average-sized room, expect to pay £265 overall, for a maximum of 2 days of work.

A smaller room, such as a spare bedroom, can cost around £185 to paint, whereas large spaces of 60m2 or more can cost in the region of £1,010 to paint.

Fixture painting

If you are hoping to fully refresh your space, you may want to consider painting your fixtures.

If you decide to repaint any woodwork, this can cost £220 for doors, and £600 for fitted cupboards. If you are hoping to update your windows, you should budget £950 on average — and set aside £265 for skirting boards.


Wallpapering an entire room can work out slightly more expensive than painting. On average, you will pay £390 per room for wallpapering, compared to £265 for painting.

For smaller or single walls, expect to pay around £180 ; whereas, larger spaces can cost £600 or more, depending on the supplies you select.

Overall painting and decorating costs

Decorating job Average cost Average time
Wall preparation £200 per day 1-2 days
Plastering £600 for the average room 1-2 days
Painting a wall £215 for the average wall 1-2 days
Painting a room £265 for the average room 2 days
Fixture painting £265 for skirting boards 1-2 days
Wallpapering £390 for the average room 2-3 days

How to find the right painter and decorator for you

Working with a decorating team you trust can certainly give you peace of mind. If you are wondering how to source reliable tradesmen, here are 3 useful tips to make your search simple:

Read their reviews

One of the easiest ways to check if a painting and decorating team is right for you is to take a look at their track record!

Good quality businesses will often have a variety of positive customer reviews, and some may even be able to show you photographs of their past work — which is incredibly useful! Always search for businesses with reviews that mention not only high standard decorating work, but professional and friendly staff, too.

Consider specialists

Working with a dedicated painter and decorator is often an advantage, as they will have lots of industry-specific experience, and will be able to give you personalised advice on your project.

If you are hoping for custom interior design — such as hand-painted murals, or fixture painting — it is a good idea to search for a decorating team that has worked on similar projects in the past, to avoid getting caught out.

Get a second opinion

No matter the size or scope of your interior design plans, you should always ask for a second opinion.

Asking multiple businesses to quote on a job will not only allow you to make sure you are being offered a fair rate for your area, but will also help you to explore the different services available, too.

If you are searching for reliable painters and decorators in your area, then take a look at the database today!