How much does a Decorator Charge to Paint a Ceiling?


I’m a painter and decorator in the UK and I have been in the game for over 20 years. I’m regularly asked how it would cost for me to just paint a ceiling. This is normally because a client is decorating the rest of a room themselves, but struggle with ceilings.


First of all, I’ll take you through the process I go through when painting a ceiling, so you can better understand how much time it takes.


I would enter the room and sheet everything up, including the floor and furniture. The next thing I do is fill any imperfections and cracks in the plaster. Occasionally the repair work is slightly more extensive, and I end up pinning plasterboard back to the joists to prevent movement, which may otherwise cause cracks to open up again.


Then I wait for the filler to dry. Sometimes the repairs need a second fill, which I carry out, then I’m left waiting again.


Once the filler is dry, I give it a quick sand (most decorators have dust free sanding equipment nowadays). Now onto the painting, I cut in around the room and the lights, then roll it off. I’ll bring my fan heaters in and open a window. Even though I’m accelerating the drying time of the paint, I’m still left waiting for well over an hour for the first coat of paint to dry. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 hours.


The second coat of paint flies on, nice and easy. Then its just a case of clearing my tools away and leaving the room nice and tidy.


I should also add, There is a little bit of time organising the van before I arrive, then cleaning tools out after I have finished.


For an average sized ceiling, all this might take me 4 hours, maybe even longer. Most decorators would charge by the day, but you may get some who are happy just charging for half a day. A decorators’ day rate anywhere between £130 and £250 per day. Materials for a ceiling may cost £30 or £40.


Obviously, I can’t put an exact figure on it, but that should help you work out roughly how much a decorator would charge you to paint your ceiling.

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