How Much is Painting and Decorating?

What should you consider before painting and decorating?

When redecorating, you need to consider the costs of interior painting for various projects.

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to reinvigorate the walls of your home.

The average price for painting a room ranges from £180 for a small bedroom up to £600 for a large living room.

You will also need to consider the painting and decorating prices for other fixtures, including skirting boards which cost around £180 to £350 and £400 to £1,500 for painting windows.

It's worth noting that a professional will be able to complete your project correctly and efficiently, the first time of asking.

What other jobs could be included?

Other jobs include painting doors which ranges from £220 to £1,600, while kitchen cupboards can be re-painted for around £600 to £1,000.

How much does wallpapering cost?

Wallpapering is another significant decorating costs which is usually quoted at £180 for a small room and up to £600 to strip and hang the wallpaper while installing internal cladding ranges from £1,500 to £2,500.

Painting and Decorating Prices

Here is a table of the average costs you can expect for painting and decorating jobs:

New skirting boards £15 to £26 per square metre
Internal Cladding £1,500 to £2,500
Hanging Wallpaper £180 to £600
Wallpaper £16 to £160 per roll
Internal cladding £13 to £23 per m2
Painting a small room £180 to £300
Painting a medium room £350 to £550
Painting a large room £600 to £800

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What are the Supply Costs of Interior Painting & Decorating?

If you are planning to save money by paint and decorating on a DIY basis, then you need to be aware of the following supply costs:

Interior wall paint £2 to £30 per litre
Gloss paint £6 to £27 per litre
Satin paint £6 to £22 per litre
Wallpaper £7 to £160 per roll
Internal cladding £13 to £23 per m2
Kitchen cupboard paint £20 to £46 per litre

What are the Additional Costs of Interior Painting & Decorating?

There are various other costs you need to consider when painting and decorating, such as:

New Flooring

When decorating your walls, you may also want to consider upgrading your floor.

The cost of a new floor will vary depending on the material you choose, for example, if you wish to install carpet this will cost around £80 to £2,625 depending on the size of your room.

Other flooring options include synthetic designs such as laminate which ranges from £150 to £1,625, while you should expect to pay just £110 to £1,125 for vinyl.

painting a floor

If you are looking for a natural-style floor like hardwood, this will cost around £940 for a 10 square metre living space, while a 25 square metre room tends to cost about £2,350, or up to £3,700 for patterned parquet flooring.

If redecorating your bathroom or kitchen, you should consider tiling which is normally priced at £400 for a small room and up to £1,380 for a large space.

New Lighting

Before your walls can be painted or wallpaper, you may need to remove your lighting fixtures, and you can either re-install them or replace them with new lights.

The price of new lighting will vary depending on how much lighting you need in your room and how much space you have.

The installation cost is generally around £60 for a basic fitting or up to £1,000 for new lights and wiring.

image of lighting

If redecorating your living room or bedroom, you may want to install a ceiling light, which may cost anywhere from £6 for a simple flush mount light to £2,000 or more for a chandelier.

If you want to install new lighting fixtures in your kitchen, then you could opt for pendant lights to hang over your kitchen cabinet, which usually cost around £30 to £500 per light.

When redecorating your bathroom, you should consider having spotlights installed to enhance the look of your tiles and wall coverings. Bathroom spotlights tend to cost around £15 to £250.


Before painting or wallpaper, you need to ensure that your walls are fully prepared and plastered. This will help to protect and prime your walls, especially if you have any uneven surfaces or damp areas which need to be re-plastered.

The cost of plastering will depend on how much wall space needs covering, although professional plasterers tend to charge around £200 to plaster a small ceiling, while a large ceiling could cost up to £730.

If you need a small room re-plastering, then you should expect to pay around £400 to £500, while new plastering costs around £600 to £700.

To re-plaster a large living area, you will be charged around £550 to £700 while a brand-new plastering job will range from £1000 to £1400.

Tradesmen Costs for Interior Painting & Decorating

Another essential cost you need to consider is tradesman prices. A standard quote to hire a painter and decorator is normally around £100 to £300 a day for large decorating jobs such as painting or wallpapering multiple rooms.

For smaller paint jobs such as painting door frames and kitchen cabinets, they may only charge £15 to £40 an hour.

painter decorating

How Long Does It Take for Interior Painting & Decorating?

The time frame of a decorating job is also important, as the majority of tradesman charge for their time, so it is good to know how long a job will take to determine the final price.

If you are just having a small bedroom painted, then this should only take around a day to complete, however, if you need any wallpaper or paint removing, then this will add on an additional day.

The job could also take around three to four days if you want the tradesman to remove and put back any furniture.

If you are redecorating your entire house, then this can take around five days for a two-bedroom terraced home, seven days for three-bedroom semi-detached property and up to fourteen days for a five-bedroom detached house.

Smaller paint jobs such as painting kitchen cabinets may only take around three days for a small kitchen and up to five days for a large kitchen. Other jobs such as skirting board painting usually takes one to two days, while painting a door frame may only take three to five hours.

Choosing Interior Paint

One of the most important things you need to consider is the type of paint you want, as you need to ensure that you pick the right shade and finish to complement your living space.

You need to choose the best paint that's available. There are various types of interior paint, including:

Matt Paint Cost

This type of paint is categorised by its flat and dull finish, which costs around £1 to £7 per litre. The main advantage of matte paint is that it can cover imperfections, so any touch-ups can be applied easily.

The downside of matt paint is that it is hard to clean, as removing any dirt or debris from your walls can actually ruin the finish.

However, some manufacturers offer a scrubbable matt paint which is much easier to clean.


  • A cheap paint option
  • Touch ups can easily be applied


  • It can be hard to clean

Satin Paint Cost

Satin paint features a pearl-like sheen which costs around £2 to £22 per litre.

In comparison to matt paint, a satin finish is much easier to clean due to it reflecting more light.

This makes it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas, including bathrooms or children’s bedrooms.

The problem with this type of finish is that it does not hide imperfections well, so touch-ups may not be easy.

It can also be difficult to apply, so it is best to hire a professional to paint your walls with satin paint.


  • Much easier to clean than matt paint
  • Ideal for high traffic areas


  • Doesn't hide imperfections well
  • Can be difficult to apply

Eggshell Paint Cost

Eggshell paint is categorised by its eggshell-like appearance and offers more of a sheen than flat or satin paint. The average cost of eggshell paint is around £6 to £25 per litre.

The main advantage of eggshell paint is that it offers the right amount of reflection to prevent imperfections showing through the paint.

Despite its reflective abilities, eggshell paint can still be hard to clean, and you should be very careful when clearing away any dirt as it may cause permanent damage.


  • Offers more of a sheen than matt paint


  • Can be damaged when cleaned
  • Can be difficult to clean

Semi-gloss Cost

Semi-gloss paint offers a slight sheen and is typically priced at £8 to £30 per litre. This type of paint is much more moisture-resistant than other paint finishes, and it is also much easier to clean.

Semi-gloss does not tend to work well with walls that have cracks, bumps or uneven surfaces, as It shows up imperfections easily.

This type of paint also takes longer to apply, so you may want to hire a professional painter.


  • More moisture resistant than other paints therefore easier to clean


  • Doesn't work well on uneven surfaces
  • It takes longer to apply

Gloss Cost

Gloss paint offers the highest sheen of all paint finishes and is customarily used to brighten up poorly lit rooms.

This type of paint tends to range from £6 to £27 per litre and is one of the most durable paint types available.

Gloss paints tend to show up the smallest blemishes on your walls, so you should only apply this type of paint to damage-free walls.

Surfaces with gloss paint may also be hard to touch-up, so a new paint layer will be required.


  • Offers the highest sheen of all the paint options
  • One of the most durable paints


  • Doesn't work well on uneven surfaces
  • It can be hard to touch up

Emulsion Cost

This type of wall paint is water-based and contains a synthetic resin and can be used for several applications. Emulsion tends to cost around £2 to £9 per litre.

The main benefit of emulsion is that they are less toxic than other paint types, as it tends to contain fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

It is also straightforward to apply and dries quicker than any other water and oil-based paints.

The downside of emulsion is that it is much more expensive than oil-based paint, and it may have a low drying rate if painting in high humidity.


  • Emulsion is less toxic than other paints
  • Dries quickly
  • Easy to apply


  • Can be more expensive than oil based paints

Waterproof Paint Cost

Waterproof paint can be purchased from your local DIY store for around £3 to £20 per litre.

The primary function of waterproof paint is that it can try to prevent or deter the effects of moisture damage in bathrooms or basements. It also stops any mildew or fungal smells by forming an airtight seal.

It is important to remember that waterproof is not a sole solution for moisture damage and should only be used an additional protective layer.

If you have a significant amount of water damage, then you need to make sure you get this sorted by a professional rather than using waterproof paint.


  • Helpful as it deters moisture in bathrooms
  • Helps to prevent mildew


  • Should not be used if you have a significant amount of water damage

Chalk Paint Cost

This type of paint has a flat finish which is typically used to paint kitchen cabinets. Chalk paint tends to cost around £12 to £40 per litre and is ideal for various surfaces without the need for sanding or priming.

It also dries very quickly, and due to its thickness, it only needs one layer.

image of paint bucket and brush

A downside of chalk paint’s thickness is that it can leave brush marks, and it can also build up quickly and ruin the aesthetic of the surface.

It is also hard to apply, so you are best hiring a professional.


  • Provides a flat finish
  • Dries quickly


  • Can leave brush marks due to the thickness of the paint

Types of Decorating

There are various other decorating costs you need to consider, including:

Installing New Skirting Boards Cost

If your skirting boards are damaged, then you may need to have them replaced to protect and enhance the look of your walls.

The average cost of installing a new skirting board is around £15 to £26 per square metre.

Installing Internal Cladding Cost

To improve the insulation in your home, you should consider installing uPVC cladding to protect against moisture and weather damage.

The price of fitting internal cladding is around £1,500 to £2,500 for a typical semi-detached house.

Hanging Wallpaper Cost

If you prefer wallpaper to paint, then you can hire a professional painter and decorator to decorate your walls with a wallpaper design of your choice.

The cost to hang wallpaper is around £180 to £600.


Q: What is painting and decorating?

A: Painting and decorating involves painting walls, skirting boards, door frames, kitchen cupboards and furniture.

Painters and decorators are also experienced in stripping paint and wallpaper, as well as priming and preparing the walls for new paint or wallpaper application.

Q: Can you paint over a dark colour?

A: It is possible to paint over a dark colour, although if using a light colour over it, then two or more coats of primer will be required.

This will prevent the dark colour from showing through the lighter shade.

Q: How long does it take for paint to dry?

A: The paint drying time will depend on the type of paint you choose; for instance, latex paints tend to dry within one to four hours.

Oil-based paints take around six to eight hours to dry, although you should wait at least 24 hours before applying another layer of paint.

Q: Which paint is best for bathrooms?

A: You can purchase special paint for your bathroom which contains anti-mildew qualities and is also very easy to clean.

Some of the best paint sheens for a bathroom include semi-gloss and gloss paints, as they repel moisture and are easy to maintain.

Q: Can you wallpaper over old wallpaper?

A: If you wish to save money, you can opt to wallpaper over your existing wall covering.

However, you need to make sure that your wallpaper is not damaged as this will show up through the new wallpaper and may also start to peel. It will also depend on the type of wallpaper you have, as you should try to avoid wallpapering over a coated design, as this can cause bumps to appear.

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Author: Heather B

I am a seasoned copywriter from Liverpool - who after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in English Media and Cultural Studies - went on to specialise in the creation of business and lifestyle copy for a wide range of industries across the UK and USA.