The average cost of painting a three-bedroom house in Australia ranges between $2,400 for the interior-only, or up to $35,000 for both inside and out, according to experts.
The amount varies depending on a few factors including size, bedrooms, if the interior and exterior need to be painted, the condition and the style of the house.
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The average cost of painting a house in Australia by city
To give you an idea of the costs associated with painting a house, we spoke to tradies in three major cities.
|City||$/hr||1BR home cost||2BR home cost||3BR home cost||Single storey cost||Double storey cost|
|Melbourne||$55||$2600||$3,200||$3,800||$8,000 – $20,000||$20,000+|
|Sydney||$55||$2500||$3000||$3600||$15,000 – $20,000||$25,000 – $35,000|
|Brisbane||$50||$2400||$2900||$3500||$7000 – $15,000||$15,000+|
How much does it cost to paint the exterior of a house?
The average cost of painting the outside of a house is a $4,000-20,000 depending on size, condition and access.
The cost of painting the exterior of a house ranges from $4000 to more than $20,000. Picture: Getty
“An external repaint of a multi-level property will of course cost more than a single level,” explained Eric Gordon, CEO Prime Painting Group in Melbourne.
“This is due to scaffolding or other height access equipment requirements. It is illegal to work on a ladder over 2m high these days, so home owners need to be aware of the costs involved if they own a two- or three-storey house or apartment.”
Likewise, Grant Pemberton of Brushworkx Painting & Decorating in Sydney said there “a lot of variables to consider”.
“The estimated cost to paint both the interior and exterior of a house would cost somewhere between $15-20k. This is dependent on fixings and detail within the property itself – for example, if you have French windows throughout your house, it will take a painter a much longer time to complete the job.”
For a double-storey house, Mr Pemberton said home owners would be “looking at somewhere between $25-35k.”
How much does it cost to paint the interior of a house?
The average cost of painting the interior of a house is $3,800 for a three-bedroom home in a good condition. This can vary depending on the size of the house, style of house, age of house and so on, according to the experts.
“We calculate our quotations based on hourly rate plus cost of materials,” Mr Gordon said.
“Generally, we charge $55 per hour and $25 per litre plus sundry items. A modern one-bedroom apartment in good condition will usually take three days to paint and around 40 litres of paint.”
While some painters charge by the hour, others will offer a couple of different ways of charging for a job.
Mr Pemberton said he has two ways of charging clients.
“I charge $55 per hour, plus materials,” he said.
“However, many of my clients opt for a day rate ($500) which enables me to paint a specific area, plus any other bits and pieces I can fit in between drying time.”
Factors that affect the cost of painting a house
When calculating the total cost of painting a home, there are other factors to consider beyond the amount of paint needed and time it takes to paint.
The condition of a house and also its age and style can greatly impact how much a house will cost to paint.
“An older one-bedroom apartment is more likely to need more preparation, therefore expect to pay up to $1000-plus more,” Mr Gordon said.
“Older Edwardian, Victorian and Federation homes will also cost much more because they have high ceilings, decorative cornices and ceiling roses. You could pay over $20,000 to repaint one of these. New homes are a lot easier.”
When it comes to what might cost extra, you also need to think about how easily accessible the space and areas that need to be painted are.
“Is the house fully furnished? And if so, do you have to move and cover furniture, which limits the amount of space you have to work [in],” Mr Pemberton said.
It’s not just the age or style of the house, there are other details that may hike the price of your paint job up.
“We need to consider what kind of ceilings, windows and architraves we are dealing with,” Mr Pemberton said.
“Do the ceilings have moulded cornices, are the windows timber French windows?”
How can you save money when painting your house?
While certain things will cost you more when painting a house, here are some ideas on how you might be able to save money.
The cost of painting a house could depend on how much work you’re willing to do yourself. Picture: Getty
1. Get materials through a sole trader
By working with a sole trader or small painting company you may be able to access materials for the job for a cheaper price.
“While the cost for materials per litre varies depending on brand and product type [for example, gloss, low sheen etc], they all have different base costs, [so] you can expect a discount of roughly 20-25% for a small- to medium-sized company,” Mr Pemberton said.
2. Do the prep work yourself
If there’s a lot of prep work to do in order to get your walls in a good condition to paint, it’s going to take the painters longer to complete the job and your cost will likely go up.
So, if you’re walls are not in great condition, consider doing some of the scraping, sanding and filling before you get the professionals in.
3. Keep an eye out for deals
Keep an out on any promotions on paint and supplies in the lead up to a paint job. If you’re painting an entire house it’s likely you will need a considerable amount of paint, so look out for specials or sales which could cut back on costs.
5 top tips for painting your house by yourself
If you’re choosing to forego professional help, good for you. Painting is a job that’s easy for newbie DIYers to take on but the key is in the preparation.
Decided to DIY a paint job? Don’t skimp on materials. Picture: Getty
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Safety is paramount
If you’re removing old paint from a surface prior to painting remember that lead paint used to be common in paints before it was banned in 2010.
Always use a test patch kit before scraping off old paint to avoid the risk of lead poisoning, which is especially harmful to young children and pets.
2. Don’t skimp on materials
All the experts we spoke to said to not scrimp on materials. “Buy good-quality brushes and rollers, there’s a reason why professionals use them,” Mr Pemberton said.
3. Don’t be afraid to use more paint
“Don’t fight the roller! If you feel like you’re pushing too hard, you probably are – don’t be afraid to use more paint,” Mr Pemberton said.
3. Remove all furniture before painting
To avoid any accidents, remove all furniture before painting. If you don’t have space to do this, cover everything with dust sheets to stop paint accidentally being dripped on things.
4. Don’t forget the drop cloths
No matter how careful you are, paint somehow tends to sneak its way onto the floor. Put a drop cloth underneath the area you’re painting as it’s better to be safe the sorry.
5. Adequate prep is key
Before you put brush to wall, you need to prepare all surfaces. At a minimum you should dust down the walls, sand down any uneven patches, remove any old nails and fill in any gaps with a multi-purpose filler. You will also want to ensure you sand all woodwork including doors, skirting boards and windows.
Will painting my house increase its value?
Painting a house is a great way to not just give it a new lease on life but to also increase its value.
“When meeting with vendors I generally recommend a fresh coat of paint,” explains Stephanie Farah, sales executive at NG Farah Real Estate in Coogee.
Painting is a fantastic way of increasing the potential sale price of a property. Picture: realestate. com.au/buy
“If the bathrooms are dated but the client is budget conscious, minor changes likes updating tap-wear, a new vanity, mirror and shower screen can give the bathroom an updated fresh look and feel. The return on investment can equate to an extra $100,000 for the vendor by making the home feel more liveable before any major renovations are required.
“Almost all of our clients see value in a coat of paint and these minor updates. It’s my responsibility as an agent to provide my vendors with this information and arrange for the updates to be done. When it’s your biggest assets you need to be given the right advice.”
This article was originally published on
6 Apr 2023 at 11:29am
but has been regularly updated to keep the information current.