UK | Painting and Decorating Prices » Per Sqm · Saving Tips | 2021

What are average painting and decorating prices per m2 in the UK?

A new coat of interior paint is not only necessary when moving in or out, but can also give a home a new freshness and character. Find out in this article what the average painting and decorating prices per sqm are in the UK and how you can best save.

What are average painting and decorating prices in the UK?

On average painting and decorating prices range from £9 – £18 per square metre in the UK. In most cases, the cost of paint, masking and covering is included in the price. The exact cost depends on the skills and area of the painter, the services required and the condition of the walls and ceilings.

AVERAGE: £9 – £18 PER SQM

There can also be a big difference in the cost of paint materials. Regular white paint is usually in the range of £2 – £3.5 per m2. If special paint is required, e.g. for smokers’ flats (with nicotine barrier) or a glossy look for certain rooms such as the kitchen, prices can rise to £30 per sqm.

The same applies to wall patterns or design walls (one wall is painted in a different colour than the rest of the walls), as the material costs for the paint increase. A colour consultation, which is offered by most painters if one is requested, also increases the price.

Should it be desired or necessary to paint doors or windows, further costs will result. As a special paint or varnish is used and the work is more delicate and lengthy, most painters charge per door or window. For doors, a flat rate of around £70 – £140 per door including paint can be expected and for windows, £25 – £50 for windows.

As a rule, the skirting boards are also painted. This can be expected to cost around £3 – £5 per metre. If it is necessary to fit and paint new skirting boards, the cost will rise to around £10 per metre. If the walls have any damage and need to be filled or old wallpaper needs to be torn down first before painting, the prices will increase. For the removal of old wallpaper, approximately £8 – £10 per sqm can be added.

If the walls need to be plastered beforehand, an additional cost of around £10 – £25 per sqm can be expected, depending on whether it is a new build or just replastering the surface of existing walls. Further costs may apply for the removal of old plaster. 

Below is an example of costs for painting 100 sqm in a suburb of London. The walls will be masked off and painted white twice. Windows and doors will also be painted. All figures are estimates including VAT and may vary.

Example: Painting and Decorating Prices – UK – 100 m2

Mask off wall surface + paint 2x, 125 m2
£12 / m2
£1,500
Paint the ceiling surface, 100 m2
£10 / m2
£1,000
Painting windows, 5 pcs.
£50 each
£250
Paint doors, 4 pcs.
£100 each
£400
Painting skirting boards
£5 per metre
£183
Total cost
£3,333

Save money: Compare painting and decorating prices in your area!

There are now platforms that help you compare prices of contractors and find the best value for money in your area quickly and easily. A recommendable service is that of Bark. It only takes a few clicks to fill out the form. Whether you accept one of the offers or leave it at the price overview is up to you. The service is non-binding and free of charge.

What factors influence painting and decorating prices?

It is difficult to generalise the cost of painting and decorating, as the final price is made up of several factors. The most important cost factors are:

  • How large is the area to be painted?
  • What preparatory work is required for walls and ceilings?
  • Do the walls need to be repaired and plastered in advance?
  • Is wallpaper desired?
  • Should windows and doors also be painted?
  • What type of paint is desired?
  • Are special patterns or effects desired?
  • How many coats of paint are required?
  • What are the costs for additional work?
  • Is a colour consultation desired?
  • Is the painter local? Are there any costs for travel and parking?

Tip: This is how you calculate the square metre area to be painted

Unfortunately, you can’t simply multiply the square metre of a room by the painter’s price per square metre, because it’s always about the square metre area to be painted and not the pure square metres. But how do you do that?

For a correct calculation, the following information is relevant (calculation example in brackets):

  • How high is the room (in our calculation example: 2.40 m)?
  • How long are the walls in total? (14 metres)
  • How many square metres does the room have? (20 sqm)

To stay with the project example of the 20 sqm room, now calculate the height of the room * total wall length and add the square metre number:

2.4 * 14 + 20 = 53.6 square metres of area to be painted in total.

This is how painters and decorators calculate their prices

A painter will usually provide a quote for the whole job you have in mind. These are typically charged per square metre. Calculating prices on an hourly basis is rather uncommon. In most cases, a quote will include all paints and all other services.

Often a painter will want to take a quick look at the property to see certain cost factors such as ceiling height, number of windows or the condition of the walls and adjust the price accordingly. He will also discuss with you whether special wall colours and colour shades are desired and whether a colour consultation is required beforehand.

When painting, the degree of difficulty of the rooms also plays a role. A sloping staircase wall, for example, is somewhat more difficult to paint than a large, flat wall surface. Nevertheless, especially for larger jobs, it is always possible to talk to the painter about either a flat rate for the whole project or a day rate.

A little planning can reduce your painter and decorator cost

If you want to save time and money, you can think about how the painting work will be done and what materials are desired beforehand. In addition, some simple preparations can save you money.

→ The right preparation

Proper preparation can have an impact on the total cost. For example, it is advisable to prepare all rooms before having them painted. First, remove all furniture from the room to ensure that paint stains do not cause damage and that all walls and ceiling are easily accessible for the painter. Finally, remove all socket covers and light switch covers and fill all wall holes with putty.

→ What colour should it be?

Although some painters offer free colour consultations, it can still save you time and money if you decide in advance what colour you want to paint. Primarily, this is about colour tones, but also about colour types. Glossy, slightly glossy or completely matt?

→ Should doors, windows and skirtings be painted?

It is not absolutely necessary to paint skirting boards white with a wood look. A wood stain is also an option here, on an oil or water base. The same applies to the design of the windows and doors. Should they be painted in colour or left as they are? Is a different colour even desired for the windows and doors in order to set visual accents?

Can I reduce my painting costs if I do the painting myself?

One cost factor is of course the labour costs for the painter. Is it therefore worthwhile to carry out the painting work independently? How realistic is this for a layman?

First of all, it should be mentioned that painting work can take several days, which is why this work, especially for working people, can sometimes be not profitable. Painting after work or at weekends can often be exhausting.

FOR A LAYMAN, WHO WORKS FULL-TIME, PAINTING ON THEIR OWN IS HARDLY WORTHWHILE.

It should also be borne in mind that all painting utensils, such as paint, brushes, buckets, etc., must be purchased at the DIY store. In the absence of experience, miscalculations may occur and there will be a shortage or significant surplus of paint, resulting in additional costs or time.

Therefore, if you need to complete the renovation quickly and with minimal disruption, it may be wise to hire a professional. In a single day, painters can finish a room that would take several days or even weeks to complete on your own.

5 easy saving tips to reduce your painting and decorating costs

1. Buy paint yourself at the DIY store

If you buy your own paint at the DIY store, you may be able to save money. This should be discussed with the painter beforehand. The aim of this would be to reduce the painting costs per square metre, as the paint costs are usually included in this.

2. Measure the rooms correctly

This is a simple tip, but mistakes are often made. If you measure your rooms correctly (you can read more about how to do this earlier in this article), you won’t waste your money on buying too much paint or having to spend time exchanging it in the shop. If you are still unsure about measuring the space yourself, just ask your Painter and Decorator who will be able to help you there quickly.

3. Choose a painter and decorator near you

For long distances (especially if they have to travel over a number of days), some painters charge for travel. If the painter comes from your area, this can usually be saved.

4. Carry out simple preparatory work yourself

This includes, for example, clearing the rooms of furniture, which would otherwise be charged by the painter. If you feel like it, you can also fill small holes in the walls yourself with filler. All this reduces labour costs.

5. Compare offers free of charge

The easiest and quickest way to save on painter and decorator costs is to carry out a free price comparison beforehand. You can compare prices and customer reviews to find the best value for money in the area.

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