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How Much Does It Cost to Paint Your House?

Many job aggregator sites give home owners unrealistic estimations on how much it would cost to paint a house. Web-sites that offer painting services for $25/hr or even $40/hr are completely ridiculous, because the minimum wage for an adult painter in Australia is $27/hr, and professional painters usually charge between $65 to $95 per hour for painting services. Many web-sites like Service Seeking and Hipages use out-of-date data, and allow unqualified cowboys with no painting experience to advertise their services as 'painters'. These web-sites are misleading and dangerous to the average home owner. So what should home owners expect to pay when getting their house painted?

As the National Painting and Decorating Institute, we are able to provide more accurate costing information from professional painters.

Cost of interior house painting per room

Professional painters never give estimated prices over the phone, and rarely price per room. This is because:

  • Every room is different; some ceilings are 2.4m high, others are 2.7m high, and others are cathedral or raked ceilings.
  • Every room has different sized windows and walls; and even the colour can make a difference to the number of coats required.
  • The painter must take into consideration the condition of the substrate and what preparation will be required
  • Some homes have lead paint or absestos and must treated differently

Beware of painters who provide a quote without even looking at the property; it means they have no idea what condition the walls and trims are in. The average cost per room should be a minimum of $400 - $1200 including the cost of paint and materials.

How much does house painting cost? All prices ex GST
Average cost per room $400 – $1200
Cost per square meter $10 – $60
Cost per hour $65 – $95
Cost per day $560 – $760
Average cost of exterior 3 bedroom house painting $5,500
Average cost of interior 3-bedroom house painting


Costs of Common Painting Jobs

Painting Task Typical Quoted Prices
Interior flush doors $150
Interior wash, sand and seal varnished surfaces with adhesion primer $12.00 per m2
Stripping wall paper $18.00 per m2
Prepare, fill, and sand walls $8.80 per m2

Cost of Exterior House Painting

Once again, web-sites that claim to help you calculate the cost of painting by simply using an online calculator are misleading for consumers. It is impossible to calculate the cost of painting simply by entering a few dimensions. Professional painters take into consideration all of the following when providing a quote:

  • The height of the home. Difficult access means they might need safety equipment like scaffolding or guard rails
  • How many stories high the home is
  • The existing condition of the substrate, and type of substrate. For example, timber weatherboards often require much more preparation than brick or masonry walls
  • Any lead paint or asbestos present
  • How many windows, doors and trims are present, and the style. For example, colonial style windows are much more complex to paint than aluminium frame windows, or even timber awning windows.
  • The style of home. A heritage house will often have many details that need to be picked out or painted, but modern architecture is often simpler

Why use a qualified painter?

Above: Every year frustrated home owners get ripped off by unqualified people doing painting jobs

It's the law

There are many reasons to only obtain quote from professional qualified painters. Many states such as New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland require painting contractors to be qualified and licenced to advertise for painting projects over a minimum amount. Licensing protects the home owner, because it ensures that when you get a quote, the person providing you with the quote has passed minimum technical skill and knowledge assessments.

Less Health risk

Qualified painters have been trained to identify and treat toxic substances in your home, like lead paint, or asbestos. Lead paint causes brain damage in young children, and asbestos can kill. Hiring a painter from a job aggregator site is like playing 'Russian Roulette' with your family's health; you don't know who you are going to get, and whether they have had any training at all. Don't risk it; always use a qualified painter.

Better value

Every year, thousands of people get ripped off by unqualified cowboys doing shoddy workmanship. These projects often end up in court, with the home owner seeking compensation or a refund for sub-standard work. Unqualified people claiming to be 'painters' have not been trained to identify and solve problems with substrates, and are unaware of the painting standards. The A/NZ Standards for the painting or buildings are designed to result in longer lasting paint projects, which saves home owners in the long run. Never accept the cheapest quote just because its the cheapest. Make sure you are comparing apples with apples. The old saying is always true; you get what you pay for; if the quote seems too good to be true, it usually is.

To get the best value for your money, hire a qualified painter for your job. The National Painting and Decorating Institute has many local painters who are ready to provide you with top-notch services.