The question about how much a professional decorator should charge to wallpaper one feature wall comes up on the Decorator Forum UK quite often, so I’m going to try and answer it once and for all; drum roll please – between £150 and £400, but there is a lot to think about.
I’ll take you through some of the factors a decorator must take into consideration when pricing. It might also be worth you checking out my earlier article about how much does a decorator charge to wallpaper a room.
First off, a decorator’s day rate changes dramatically depending on which area they live and how much experience they have. Here in Liverpool, a decorator will charge anywhere between £150 and £250 per day, but in parts of London you can expect that day rate to be as much as £350 per day. That’s not to say we all earn ridiculous amounts of money.
We pay the normal running costs associated with a small business. There are the different types of insurance, keeping a van on the road, maintenance of tools and equiptment, all of which needs to come out of the pot before we can draw a wage. Then there are all the hours we do that doesn’t get noticed, like cleaning out of equiptment or running around doing quotes. So, with this in mind, how much does it cost to wallpaper a feature wall if you were to pay a professional?
A lot of decorators insist on lining a wall before installing finish paper as this minimises the risk of problems. This turns your small feature wall into two visits, the first to line, the second to install the feature wallpaper. To line a feature wall, I personally allow for an hour to set up and pack away, plus an hour per double roll of lining paper (2 rolls of finish paper = 1 double roll of lining). It’s worth mentioning that sometimes we need to carry out prep work to the wall before hand which takes extra time.
The next visit is to install the wallpaper on your feature wall. Generally, it would take me an hour to set up and pack away, plus an hour per roll to hang your chosen paper. So, if your wall takes 3 rolls of paper, I’d expect to be there for 4 hours.
On top of all this, there is the time to and from the job which has to be taken into account. Most decorators I know either charge by the roll, or by the half day. So, most feature walls take two visits and the bill would be for 2 x half days (or 1 full day), plus any materials needed. However, some walls take longer, so single feature walls need to be completed in and around daytime work, and some Decorators charge by the day, rather than the half day. In short, to wallpaper one feature wall would cost anywhere in the region of £150 – £400 plus materials in my area I generally supply all the materials except the main finish paper.
Hope that helps
How Much Does a decorator charge to Wallpaper a Feature Wall – by Mike Cupit
What do Other Decorators Think?
I would normally charge £150 to paper a feature wall if it is local. Obviously, that can change depending on how much prep there is to do. We’re looking at two visits. The first to prep and line, the second to hang the wallpaper. It’s funny because a lot of homeowners will do the rest of the decorating in a room themselves, then call me to wallpaper the feature wall!! I don’t mind really, it’s nice to do the finishing touches.
It might be worth pointing out that specialist wallpapers can cost a lot more. Not every decorator will hang overlap and splice papers, or fabric back. Even if the do, they won’t do it for the standard day rate because they’re responsible if the paper gets damaged. If you have anything that costs over £100 per roll then you’re looking at double the installation cost.
Two full days labour for me. I can’t spend half a day lining a room then go and work somewhere else, so I’d take a pay cut if I didn’t charge for the full day. Getting a decorator in to paper one wall is such a pain. I’m generally booked up for months in advance and a lot of these “can you wallpaper one wall” enquiries need it doing at the drop of a hat.
It’s a couple of hundred quid for me to wallpaper a feature wall, but even then it’s a faff. Getting the stuff packed in the van, picking up lining paper and paste, driving to a job, setting up, then having to pack it all away again. I don’t like working evening either, and people expect you to jump on a feature wall as soon as they call you. You end up trying to fit it in around an already packed work-load.