Hourly rate for Painting-or how much does an average room cost

If a painting contractor charges less than £25 per hour he will cover his labour cost but not vehicle costs, parking, travel, insurance, unforeseen additional materials, after sales, occasional freebies and delays.

An average room or a 4m x5m living room would cost about £450

Add materials £80 and Vat. That’s an average price. If there are high ceilings,  a bay window full of woodwork and MDF cupboards,  it would be more.

Small jobs generally cost more per hour because they take the same travel and set up time and usually involve a half day to complete. I.e. they take 1.5 or 2.5 days to complete- and what does the decorator do with the other half day?

Some tips:

Study the specification to see if the decorator has duplicated your brief and there are no ambiguities.

Did he allow for replastering if that’s needed?

If the walls are an existing strong dark colour they may need 3 coats not just 2 to bring it back to a pastel colour or off white.

When quoting I try to anticipate all probabilities and detail these in the specification so there are no ambiguities.

Things like:

Large cracks that may need more than just raking out and filling.

Lining paper on the walls or ceiling that has passed its useful life and will not endure another two coats of paint without the adhesion failing.

Adequate protection of your new hardwood floor from ladder feet.

Adequate protection of your furniture and fittings.

Removal and replacement of door and window furniture.


Once again it’s all about the details.

Preparation and Painting is hard work and it’s pleasurable to watch someone working hard and making great changes to your space. But it’s the details that help that pleasure endure. Things like your window locks replaced without paint on them, sharp lines between ceiling and wall colour, and skirting and wall.


Good luck