How Much Does it Cost to Paint a House Interior?

A living room painted blue

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September 5, 2023

Do you feel your home could do with a freshen-up or a new colour scheme? If you’re tired of seeing the same old walls day in, day out, then getting them repainted can make you feel as if you’re in a different house.

Then again, maybe you want the interior of your home redecorated because you plan on selling your property sometime soon. Freshly-painted walls in this scenario can make all the difference to whether a buyer wants to buy your home, or walks away disappointed.

Working out the costs to paint a house interior isn’t particularly straightforward though. There can be various different factors to take into account, such as:

  • The height of the walls
  • How many rooms you want painted
  • The size of the rooms
  • The type of paint you use
  • Which particular painter and decorator you choose

And that’s just for starters. Where your property is based and how old it is, will similarly affect the price.

In this article we will point out the different elements you need to take into consideration when booking a professional for interior painting. We’ll also give you a rough hourly, day and project rate for a professional painter and decorator. This should certainly give you a better idea of the costs to paint a house interior.

Colour swatches, a painting roller and paint brushes

Breakdown of House Painting Costs

Typically, you are looking at spending around £2000 to paint the interior of an average-sized house in the UK. This will cost more in London though, where the cost for painters and decorators is much higher, due to the sheer cost of living and working in the capital.

Preparation

The more preparation work that needs to be done to the walls before painting can begin, the more expensive the job will be. If there are any damp patches then the walls will need treated first.

This involves adding a sealant so that the new paint doesn’t crack soon after it’s been put on. Nicotine-stained ceilings will require a wash with sugar soap while windows and doors may require to be stripped back to the original wood.

This all takes time and will have an effect on the fees your painter and decorator charges.

To keep prices down it’s best to remove the wallpaper yourself. This can easily be achieved using a steamer and scraper. It also means that you’ll be able to see – prior to your painter and decorator arriving – whether or not the walls need skimming by a plasterer.

Paint & Materials

There are hundreds of different paint shades and wallpaper designs to choose from for interior painting. But, famously, there are also different types of paint too – four main types, in fact.

  • Satin paint is the most popular type of paint around these days for house painting. You will often find it used in high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen and hallway, mainly because it is easy to wipe clean. It gives of a sheen finish, but it’s not as shiny as gloss paint.
  • Eggshell paint has a little more lustre than Satin but, again, not as much as gloss paint. To this end it can be referred to as a semi gloss paint. It’s a lovely wall finish for a study or a spare bedroom. In other words, areas in the home where there is less traffic.
  • Gloss paint is the paint finish that has the most sheen. Popular in the past, it’s mainly used for doors and bannisters these days. That’s because it’s very easy to clean and unlikely to show fingerprints.
  • Matte paint has no shine. It’s a popular paint choice for house painting too, because of the rather sophisticated and calming effect it gives a room. It’s especially good in neutral colours. But it’s not for high-traffic areas due to the fact it marks easily and isn’t as durable as the other types of paint.

A newly decorated living room

Paint coverage

In terms of how far a tin of paint will go, on average you can expect to get 65 square metres of coverage from a five-litre tin of paint. If using trade paint then you’ll probably get an additional 20 square metres.

The average room should only need around two coats of paint. But, if the colour underneath is much darker than your new tin of paint, or if there are a lot of marks and imperfections, then you may need another coat of paint to get the look you like. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to buy more a little more paint than you think you’ll need.

Labour Costs

When hiring a painter and decorator in the UK you can expect to pay an average cost of around £25 an hour. In terms of a day rate you’re looking at anything from £150 to £200. You’ll pay more too, if the painter is VAT registered.

A painter and decorator in front of his van

An hourly rate is really only appropriate for smaller jobs, such as painting a single room. For more rooms or even the entire house, it’s definitely better getting the painter to quote for the entire project.

Of course, the amount you end up paying your painter and decorator also depends on how simple – or complicated – the job is. For instance, a ceiling is more awkward to paint than a wall and will take longer to do. If you’re having the skirting boards, window frames and doors painted too then you’ll pay more.

Number of Rooms to Be Painted

If you have a three-bedroom house and are looking to have the interior completely repainted, then you can expect to be invoiced for anything from £2,000 to £3,000. With doors, window sills, ceilings etc, then it should take a typical professional painter around 10 days to two weeks to complete.

A small room, on the other hand, that only requires two coats of paint on the walls, will be a lot less, with average costs of around £200.

In terms of the type of rooms, you can expect less to have a kitchen or bathroom professionally painted. That’s because they tend to be smaller than a large room, such as a living room or hallway – both of which have more surface space to cover.

Painting a hallway, including any stairs and a landing can cost from £650 to £750. Ceilings average anything from £12 to £25 per square metre. Window frames can come in at around £170 while both sides of a door will cost an average of £90.

Factors Influence Interior Painting Costs

No house is the same of course (or if they are the painting demands will be different). When attempting to work out the costs for the complete interior painting of a four-bedroom house, there are a number of varying factors to take into consideration.

For instance, the number of elements in the room to be painted – is it just the walls or the ceiling and window frames etc too? Do cracks in the wall need filled in before painting starts? How long since the room was painted ie does it just need one coat of paint or are you changing the colour of the walls etc – in which case, will you need primer?

New Build or existing house

You will also find that a new house is much easier to paint a room in than a 1940s bungalow or Victorian tenement. That’s because the walls have been freshly plastered so shouldn’t have any wall cracks that need filling.

In addition, no prep work will be required and the walls themselves should be easy enough to paint. In older properties the walls can be incredibly high and the ceilings difficult to access without a tall ladder.

Painted woodwork

If a house has painted woodwork and the client wants it back to the original wood and varnished, then this can take a very long time. The paint needs to be stripped, before the wood can be touched up. You’re looking at paying an additional £100 per room for this type of treatment.

Will Painting a House Add Value?

There is no doubt that painting the interior of a house will add value. Not only will it look better ie fresher, but when you come to sell it, potential buyers will be impressed at the recently decorated walls.

Whether rightly or wrongly they will assume that the buyers are similarly smart with other areas of the home. In other words, that they look after, and maintain, the property carefully. Certainly, it creates the right impression.

Another plus of decorating the interior of your house prior to putting it on the market is that the buyers can move in without having to do any work themselves.

That can make all the difference between a sale or not. It means the new owners don’t have to spend thousands themselves having it painted while they also save on the hassle of having painters in and having to move out of certain rooms while they’re being decorated.

In terms of monetary value, it is difficult to put an exact price on how much value it adds. That’s because the property market fluctuates so much, the value will change from month to month. But a freshly-painted house will certainly make a potential buyer look at the house more favourably than if the property had been left unpainted.

Where to Find a Painter & Decorator

There are various outlets you can try to find professional painters and decorators in your locale. That’s whether you want them paint a single room or your entire home.

One of the best methods is by using ourselves here at The Page. Not only have we already looked for painters and decorators, but we have also vetted them so you don’t have to.

Let The Page curate you a free bespoke shortlist of tradespeople suited to you and your job.

This involves face-to-face meetings with our team and a check of any qualifications, along with reviews from previous clients.

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