Update 2022: We’ve updated these prices to reflect the recent increases in inflation which have been reported in the media and confirmed by our own research. If you would like a fixed quote rather than a price guide, fill in this form with your contact details and information about your project.
This page is part of our series on the home improvement prices charged by tradespeople in the UK. While lots of people choose to redecorate their own homes, for many of us, this isn’t an option. Use this page as a guide to room painting costs, we break down the price so you can see where your money goes and how long the project will take.
House redecoration is the perfect way to improve the visual appeal of any home, it’s affordable, can be completed in a timely manner and will increase the saleability of the property.
To get an idea of how much it costs to paint a room, you first need to calculate how long the work will take.
How Long Does it Take to Paint a Room?
Use this as a guide to preparing and decorating a typical front room, not every step will be required but most will:
- Preparation work such as buying paints and cleaning equipment – 30 mins.
- Remove furniture and cover the floor with sheets – 15 mins.
- Clean any grease or nicotine stains from the surfaces with sugar soap – 30 mins.
- Apply masking tape to protect sensitive areas – 15-30 mins.
- Rub down timber doors, skirting boards, trims and windowsills – 1 hour.
- “Cut in” along the ceiling, corners and floor with a brush for a neat finish and use a roller to apply emulsion paint to the remaining wall/ceiling surfaces – 1.5 hours per coat.
- Apply undercoat to wooden trims/skirts/windowsills/doors – 2.5 hours per coat.
- Apply top gloss coat to wooden trims/skirts/windowsills/doors – 2.5 hours per coat.
- Tidy up and place furniture back in the room – 30 mins.
As you can see, the actual painting doesn’t take too long and the preparation work takes nearly as much time.
As a general rule of thumb, a medium-sized room requiring walls, ceiling and timber skirts/trims/sills painting will take around 2 days.
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Cost to Paint a Room
Here’s a breakdown of the materials needed to paint a typical medium-sized room:
- White spirit/cleaning materials such as sugar soap.
- Covers and sheets etc.
- Brushes, rollers etc.
- 1 x Paint – ceiling.
- 1 x paint – walls.
- 1 x wood primer/undercoat.
- 1 x gloss topcoat for timber.
The price will obviously depend on the type and quality of the paint but for a typical front room, you can expect the cost of the materials to be around £175-£200
Here is a breakdown of the cost to paint a room:
Materials – £175
Labour 1 person for 2 days – £350
VAT – £105.00 (not always applicable, see how to legally avoid paying VAT here)
Total Cost – £630
Don’t forget; larger firms will have employees and overheads to cover so will charge more than a decorator who is just earning a day rate for himself.
For a typical front room, we think the going rate in our area is around £600 but will depend on where you live, how much woodwork needs glossing and whether you employ a self-employed painter or go with a larger firm with employees.
How Much Do Painters and Decorators Earn in the UK?
We conducted research into wages and day rates for tradespeople, including painters and decorators.
See the results here and find out how much painters and decorators in the UK earn, based on information from Reed, Total Jobs, This is Money and TradeSkills4U.
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