How much does it cost to decorate a house in 2023?

If you’re looking to paint or decorate your home, one of the first questions you may ask is ‘How much does it cost to decorate a house in 2023?’.

At Paint the Town Green, we’re on a mission to innovate our industry with positive, ethical and honest collaboration.

So, in this blog, we thought we’d uncover everything that goes into estimating the cost to paint and decorate a house in 2023.

MariellLindHansen 7843

What are you looking to achieve?

When determining the price of a project, the first challenge we face is understanding from the client what they want to achieve and why they are decorating. 

For example, a quick freshen-up of a rented flat between tenancies is a very different brief from the final stage of an extensive building project, where you have been refurbishing your new, dream home. 

The former often gives us a brief of speed, efficiency, and a fresh lick of paint to cover up scratches and marks left by previous tenants. 

The latter usually requires additional preparation of all surfaces to make them extra smooth before the painting work begins.

The more time required to prepare surfaces, the greater the number of days allowed for in the cost.

How large is the house?

After your expectations and the amount of preparation work that will be required to meet them, the size of your property is the next consideration: a six-bedroom house will almost always take longer to decorate than a two-bedroom flat.

However, the size of property isn’t the only factor to be considered. Next, it’s important to consider whether you would like all the woodwork (windows, doors, skirting boards etc.) included in the areas to be painted – or just the walls and ceilings.

Walls and ceilings are much quicker to paint per square metre than woodwork as windows and doors take more preparation (rubbing down, filling etc.) and are usually covered with a brush, whereas walls and ceilings can be done with a roller - which covers the areas more quickly.

Furthermore, fitted joinery can be incredibly time consuming to paint, particularly if there are lots of shelves and drawers etc. It’s not unusual for a fitted wardrobe in a bedroom to take longer to paint than the room itself!

So, if the second thing to influence the cost of decorating a house is its size, a very close third is the amount of woodwork included in the project. 


How much preparation is needed?

Next, the amount of time to set-up your home can significantly influence the amount of time taken to complete your project, and therefore, the cost of the estimate.

An unoccupied, unfurnished, uncarpeted property will be much quicker to decorate than a fully-furnished, occupied home as we have to work around the comings and goings of its owners.

The time required to move furniture, allowing access to all areas as necessary and protecting furniture and the flooring can run into many days on larger projects.

Even though we will always ask you to remove any small, fragile or valuable items from an area before we arrive to decorate it, we will often spend many hours getting each room ready and protecting everything before we begin our prep work. 

Decorating is a messy, dusty business. You can’t avoid it; if a beautiful, finished property is the omelette, decorating is very much the egg-breaking part! Time spent protecting everything at the start is essential to ensure nothing is damaged, but it takes time and this increases the duration of the project. 

What state is your home in?

Finally, on the timeframe front, we must consider the general condition of your property: how long it’s been since it was last decorated and the fabric of the building itself. 

If walls are old and full of cracks, doors splitting, joints opening up etc. there’s going to be a certain amount of preparation work required - even if you don’t require an immaculate finish.

We’ve all heard the expression about not wanting to paper over the cracks but painting over the cracks is even less acceptable. 

So, if your property has a lot of cracks and defects and hasn’t been decorated for a while, you should expect your decorators to need more time getting things ready before they start painting. 

AJ 919 333 copy 1

What materials are you choosing?

The next factor to consider is the cost of materials: the most obvious being the brand of paint you choose.

Whilst you may think that choosing a £90 tin will result in a more expensive quote than choosing a £50 tin, this isn’t always the case.

If you’re painting every room a different colour, you’re going to need multiple tins of paint and it’s very unlikely you will finish most of them.

Over a large project with many rooms, this will mean you produce a lot of waste; one litre here, two litres there, it can add up to an enormous amount of paint that you buy but don’t use. 

Furthermore, if you also want to use multiple finishes (matt emulsion, wipeable emulsion, eggshell etc.) in the same colour, each will require a separate tin - again likely to result in more waste. 

Multiple colours and finishes on a project can as much as double the amount spent on paint compared with one colour on all walls, one on the ceilings and one for all woodwork. 


What’s the cost of labour?

The final factor to consider is how much your decorator charges per day.

Unsurprisingly, this varies greatly. This itself can be influenced by many different considerations such as whether you will require project management, the decorator’s insurance, level of accountability, protection, and health and safety: whilst these can increase the cost of labour, you will undoubtedly enjoy greater peace of mind knowing that are taken care of.

So how much does it cost to decorate a house in 2023?

Now that we’ve reviewed all the factors that go into creating an estimate, it might help you to know that average cost for an entire four-bedroom Victorian house is approximately £20,000 whereas a medium-sized two-bedroom flat is approximately £8,000.

However, every property is unique so if you would like to discuss your decorating requirements or receive a detailed, accurate, free estimate please complete this form.