Price Guide: How Much Does it Cost to Decorate a Room?

Sprucing up your walls is one of the best ways to give a room a new lease of life – whether that’s a fresh lick of paint or a fancy new feature wallpaper. Whichever you choose, decorating a room can work wonders in transforming your home.

If you’re thinking of decorating, you’ll likely have a budget in mind and want to keep costs under control. But the question is, how do you figure out how much it will cost to decorate a room?

Well, there are a few different factors to consider when working out the average cost of decorating. There’s wall preparation to take into account, whether you’ll use paint or wallpaper to transform your room and if you’ll pay a professional decorator to do the job for you.

Decisions, decisions. Many of which will be influenced by the price. So, to help you get a handle on the costs involved, we’ve put together a handy price guide to give you an idea of how much it costs to decorate an average room that’s 10-12m² in size.

Costs involved in preparing your walls for decorating

More often than not, decorating a room will require some preparation, from stripping old wallpaper and filling any cracks to sanding and smoothing your walls.

Let’s take a look at some of the costs involved in preparing your walls for decorating.

Cost to strip wallpaper

Two of the quickest and easiest ways to remove wallpaper are a chemical wallpaper stripper or a wallpaper steamer.

Chemical wallpaper stripper comes in liquid form and works to dissolve the adhesive wallpaper paste used to hang your wallpaper. Prices start from as little as £2.34 for 500ml in most DIY stores, which will provide enough solution to strip the wallpaper on all four walls of an average-sized room.

Alternatively, you could buy or hire a wallpaper steamer which (as the name suggests) uses boiling water and a steaming plate to loosen the wallpaper adhesive.

The cost for same-day hire can be as little as £15 from some suppliers. But if you have a few rooms to strip, it could be more cost-effective to buy a wallpaper steamer, with prices starting from just £25.

Cost of wall filler and sandpaper

Next up – whether you’re removing old wallpaper or you’re already starting with a blank canvas – you may need to fill any holes or cracks and then sand to create a smooth surface.

You can pick up a tube of wall filler for just £2.95 at most DIY stores. But whether you opt for a sanding block for as little as £2.50 or a hand sander in the region of £8, this bit does require a bit of good old fashioned elbow grease – and thankfully, that costs nothing!

Cost of re-skimming a room

Depending on the condition of your walls, you may need to consider having them re-skimmed. If the plaster has significant holes or cracks that you can’t fix with wall filler, this is a cost you should factor into your decorating budget.

Re-skimming involves applying another thin layer of plaster to your walls to cover imperfections and achieve a super smooth finish for decorating. So, it’s not quite as expensive as plastering a room from scratch.

The cost to re-skim an average 10-12m² room typically ranges from £430 to £550, with one wall costing in the region of £150 to £200.

Factors that can influence the cost of re-skimming a room include your location (pricing varies in line with the cost of living across the country) and the condition and height of your walls.

How much does painting cost?

When you’re caught up in colour swatches, it can be easy to brush over (no pun intended) the cost of the paint. But it’s also a good idea to be aware of the different paint prices and how dramatically they vary so you can make a sensible decision.

At the cheapest end of the scale, you can pick up a 2.5L tin of paint for as little as £8. But it’s worth noting that these cheaper paints typically require more coats to achieve decent coverage.

For good quality coverage with just one or two coats, you should expect to pay £16 to £20 for a 2.5L tin of paint.

There are even some premium brands charging as much as £50 per 2.5L tin at the top end of the paint scale. Expensive, we know!

So, with £16 to £20 per tin in mind, what will it cost to paint an average-sized room?

Based on a paintable surface area in the region of 48m², you’re likely to need four or five 2.5L tins of paint to complete two to three coats on all four walls. That’s a total paint cost of £80 to £100 for an average-sized room.

Comparatively, choosing to paint just one of four walls with a feature colour should only require one 2.5L tin of good quality paint, enough for two to three coats if needed.

How much does wallpaper cost?

If you have your heart set on wallpapering, but you’re at a bit of a loss as to what it’s likely to cost for an average-sized room, keep reading, and we’ll talk you through it.

Much like paint, wallpaper pricing varies from cheap and cheerful to eye-wateringly expensive. Some wallpapers are available for as little as £8 per roll. But for a good quality paper (and the difference of a few extra pounds), you should expect to pay at least £15 to £20 per roll.

You’ll also find wallpapers in the region of £55 to £65 per roll at the top end of the scale. And at the extravagant end, we’re talking anywhere from £170 to £360 per roll.

Using £15 to £20 as our price point, let’s look at what it costs to wallpaper an average-sized room.

To wallpaper an entire room based on a surface area of about 48m², you’re likely to need up to 16 rolls of wallpaper. That’s a total wallpaper cost of £240 to £320.

Alternatively, wallpapering just one wall is a popular option, creating a stunning feature wall with a bright, expressive print. Papering just one wall typically takes no more than four rolls of wallpaper in an average-sized room. This brings the cost of wallpapering a feature wall in at around £60 to £80.

How much do a painter and decorator cost?

If the thought of slipping into a pair of overalls and tackling the job of decorating doesn’t sound appealing, the cost of a professional decorator is something you should budget for.

The day rate for a painter and decorator can vary significantly from £80 up to £250 depending on your location and their experience.

But to provide you with a clearer idea of what you might expect to pay, let’s look again at an average room size of 10-12m².

The price for a professional decorator to paint a room of this size using their own trade paints ranges from £300 to £500. As for the cost to wallpaper an average-sized room, you’re looking at £350 to £550.

And four straight walls are one thing, but if it’s your hallway and stairs you’d like them to tackle, prices can be in the region of £650 to £750.

These prices are intended as a guide only, and realistically numerous factors will affect the cost of a painter and decorator. One of the main things is whether you will supply the paint and wallpaper yourself or want them to source materials.

If you intend to use a professional decorator, they’ll typically pay you a visit before providing you with a price. Make sure you use this opportunity to discuss things like the supply of materials, so they’re able to factor this into their quote.
To get your decorating project underway, browse our collection of wallpapers and Johnstone’s paint colours. With pricing from £15 per roll and £20 per tin, transforming your room with updated decor doesn’t have to break the bank.

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