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Cost to Paint a House: Inside and Out

When it comes to giving your home a fresh, new look, painting is often the first thing that springs to mind. Whether it’s a complete exterior makeover or a cosy interior update, a good paint job can transform your space. However, one of the biggest questions on every homeowner’s mind is: How much will it cost to paint my house inside and out?

What influences the cost of painting a house?

Size matters

The size of your home is a primary determinant of the overall cost. Naturally, a larger home with more surface area will require more paint and longer hours of labour. This is not just limited to the square footage of your home but also extends to the interior. The number of rooms and their dimensions play a crucial role. A house with multiple large rooms, for instance, will invariably cost more to paint than a smaller, more compact home.

Condition of your home

The current state of your house greatly influences the preparatory work required before painting can begin. If your walls have seen better days, with evident wear and tear, they will need more prep work. Tasks like patching holes, smoothing out wall surfaces, or dealing with damp patches are time-consuming and will add to the labour costs. The same goes for exteriors; older homes might need more attention in terms of scraping off old paint or power washing surfaces before the new coat can be applied.

Moreover, when you consider substrates like pebbledash which are more labour-intensive and require more paint, will increase the cost of the job. In contrast, a smooth render is easier and quicker to paint, leading to a potentially lower quote. Living in an older house with lime plaster can also affect costs, as it necessitates the use of breathable paint suitable for plaster. Additionally, if the render requires extensive preparation due to poor condition, this will further escalate the costs. Similarly, the state of wooden features like windows, doors, fascias, and soffits plays a crucial role. Minimal preparation keeps costs down, but extensive preparation or the need for primer, undercoats, and top coats, especially for newly fitted elements, will significantly raise the price.

Quality of paint

Choosing the right paint can make a world of difference, both in appearance and longevity. High-quality paints, while more expensive, provide better coverage, more vibrant colours, and longer-lasting finishes. They can resist fading and withstand wear and tear better than their cheaper counterparts. Remember, opting for higher-end paint can be cost-effective in the long run, as it often reduces the frequency of repainting jobs.

Additional features

The architectural features of your home can also impact the cost. Homes with high ceilings, intricate mouldings, or bespoke architectural details require more precision and time to paint. Similarly, external features like shutters, porches, or decorative trims demand extra care and skill, increasing the overall cost. Textured walls or special paint effects, often used in interior décor, also require specific techniques and tools, adding to the complexity and cost of the job.

Cost to paint external walls

The overall cost is significantly influenced by the size and architectural style of your property. Larger homes, especially detached houses, require more paint and labour, which increases costs. Additionally, houses with complex designs or multiple stories can pose challenges in accessibility and require extra time and resources, further adding to the expense.

Different exterior materials necessitate specific types of paints and treatments. For instance, painting over brick might need a unique primer for better adhesion, while wooden surfaces may demand a different approach. The type of surface not only affects the choice of paint but also the preparation required, influencing the overall cost.

A key factor in cost determination is the current state of your home’s exterior. Homes that have gone years without painting may require considerable preparation, including cleaning, repairing damages, and priming. This prep work is essential for a durable paint job but increases the cost.

Choosing high-quality, weather-resistant paints is crucial, especially given the UK’s climate. These paints, although more costly upfront, provide better coverage and longevity, potentially offering savings in the long term.

On average, painting a standard three-bedroom house in the UK can cost between £800 to £3,000, encompassing labour and materials. This range can vary based on all the aforementioned factors, so obtaining multiple quotes is advisable for a fair assessment of the market rates.

The timing of the painting project also matters. Optimal weather conditions, usually during spring and summer, are ideal for exterior painting. This not only ensures a high-quality finish but also minimises the risk of weather-related delays and additional costs.

Cost to paint internal walls

The primary factor influencing interior painting costs is the size and number of rooms. Larger rooms or homes with many rooms will naturally require more paint and longer labour hours. For instance, painting a single, small bedroom will be less expensive than painting a large living room or a house with multiple rooms.

The choice of paint also significantly affects the cost. High-quality paints with superior pigments and durability might be more expensive, but they offer better coverage and a longer-lasting finish. While the initial cost may be higher, investing in quality paint can be cost-effective in the long run due to reduced need for touch-ups or repainting.

The complexity of the job can vary depending on architectural features like high ceilings, intricate mouldings, or the presence of built-in furniture. These features can make the painting process more time-consuming and technically demanding, thereby increasing labour costs. Additionally, the condition of the walls plays a role; walls that require extensive preparation, such as patching holes or sanding uneven surfaces, will add to the overall cost.

In the UK, the average cost to paint an interior room ranges from £200 to £400. However, painting an entire house could cost between £1,000 to £3,000 or more, depending on the factors mentioned. It’s important to remember that these are approximate figures, and costs can vary based on the specifics of your project.

While a DIY approach might seem more cost-effective, hiring professionals can ensure a higher-quality finish and may come with guarantees. Professional painters can also complete the job faster and with less hassle for the homeowner.

Should you DIY this?

DIY pros and cons

The most apparent advantage of DIY painting is the potential cost savings. By handling the project yourself, you eliminate labour costs, which can constitute a significant portion of professional painting quotes. Additionally, DIY projects offer a sense of personal accomplishment and the flexibility to work at your own pace.

However, the downsides of DIY painting are considerable. The quality of the finish may not match that of a professional job, especially if you lack experience. Painting requires skill and attention to detail, from surface preparation to applying even coats. Without proper technique, the result can be streaky or uneven. Moreover, DIY projects can be time-consuming, and the lack of professional tools and equipment can lead to longer project durations and potentially less satisfactory results.

Professional pros and cons

Hiring professional painters, on the other hand, brings the expertise and efficiency that comes with experience. Professionals can ensure a high-quality, durable finish, often backed by a guarantee. They are equipped to handle various surfaces and can efficiently deal with unexpected issues, such as mould or damp spots. Additionally, professionals have the necessary equipment to complete the job safely, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

The primary drawback of hiring professionals is the cost. Professional painting services can be a significant investment, especially for large or complex projects. There’s also the aspect of having workers in your home, which might disrupt your routine.


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