How much does it cost to paint the inside and outside of a house in Australia?

The process of painting a house goes beyond the mere idea of just improving the overall aesthetics of the house but also constitutes an investment to increase the house’s market value. In 2019, a study advised sellers to consider implementing paint touch-ups as a strategy to enhance the marketability of their properties. Precisely determining the cost of a painting project is the most challenging aspect as there are myriads of elements factoring into the equations. From the complexity of the property size to the detail of the colour choice, every single element has a significant effect on the cost of repair.

In this article, we will examine the intricacies of estimates of how much it costs to paint interior as well as exterior surfaces of a house in Australia. As homeowners are made aware of the factors, they will be able to make sound decisions and achieve their expected outcomes within their set budget. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the main faucets that come into play when one is planning for the cost of painting his/her house.

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Factors Affecting Painting Costs

As aforementioned, there are a multitude of factors which can affect how the final cost is calculated. This section explores the factors attributed to the question: how much does it cost to paint a house?

Total Surface Area

First and foremost, the size of the house is arguably the biggest contributor to determining the painting cost. Bigger homes naturally have more square footage and surface area to cover, driving the cost of materials and labour up. The cost of painting a cosy cottage compared to a sprawling mansion is directly attributed to the total surface area in which the painting has to be done.

For example, a small one-storey house would require less paint than a 4-storey residence. The average cost to paint the exterior and interior of a one-storey (estimated to be 100 square metres) is $2,500 – $6,000, while a 4-storey house (estimated at 400 square metres) is between $10,000 to $19,000.

Labour Costs

Another important factor to consider the cost is the labour. The proficiency and experience of the painter is a key factor in determining labour costs. Experienced specialists might request higher rates, which in turn, credibly indicates the quality of work and timely project completion time. Albeit it may set you back initially, it is a worthwhile investment with the peace of mind that the job is done right and efficiently.

Conversely, inexperienced and inexpensive painters may initially seem like an attractive choice for the budget due to their lower hourly rates. The trade-off, however, is that this decision may give rise to shoddy workmanship and subsequently massive long-term repair expenses. Even though this is a more cost-effective alternative, inexpert painters lack the expertise and finesse to fully satisfy customers.

In Australia, most painters work on a rate per square metre basis. The cost generally falls between $35 and $45 per square metre. Typically, this pricing includes one undercoat, with both the base coat and top coat. However, the total cost varies from material selection to colour option as well as the extent of preparatory work needed for your home. Though picking a cheap painter may seem inexpensive at the time of purchase, the cons of this strategy and long-term costs should be considered.

Professional interior construction worker pouring green color to paint

Project Complexity

The complexity of the painting project goes beyond just its size. It also takes into consideration other factors like design nuances, colour selection and wall texture. Every single one of these components creates layers of complexity that affect the material and labour expenses.

For instance, a house with elaborate trim work or decorative architectural details will probably demand more time and care as well as additional preparation steps that will increase the labour costs. In addition to this, using more than one colour or painting a complex pattern is likely to be costly in terms of the overall price.

Quality of Paint

It is critical to make the right selection of paint for a successful outcome. High-grade paint is usually more expensive, however, they are superior in terms of performance and durability in terms of the level of coverage, colour retention and long-term saving potential. It is recommended that paints with low volatile organic compound (VOC) levels should be prioritised for improved indoor air quality. 

The use of store discounts or contacting a professional sales representative can equally help in the reduction of costs. However, it is necessary to remember that cutting costs at the expense of paint quality can have serious consequences. Selecting inferior paints can be a cheaper option at the beginning of the project but will probably lead to a quicker sign of damage such as fading, peeling off or wearing off, meaning that the house will need to be repainted and thus the overall cost will rise. Investing in good quality paint ensures better coverage and durability; in return, the investment will provide the homeowner with long-term satisfaction with the results.

Additional Features

Aside from the core aspects contributing to the cost of a painting project, a multitude of additional features may drive the total expenditure up. These include the number of coats needed, the intricacy of trim work, the ceiling height, and surface texture too are some of the major aspects that affect the final cost expenditure.

For example, painting a room with ornate crown moulding or an elaborate, tall ceiling requires specialised knowledge and tools, resulting in higher labour costs. Likewise, the number of coats required for coverage and the complexity of surface preparation can be a factor in the expense of material.

In conclusion, there are a plethora of factors which contribute to the cost of house painting. The size, material, complexity and labour required for the project are important considerations to take into account. Homeowners should develop a comprehensive budget adhering to the various factors mentioned in this section when striving for a positive outcome for their painting project.

People renovating the house

Cost Estimates

Cost to Paint the Exterior of the House

Painting your home exterior can create an impressive look for your home, increasing the curb appeal; however, the costs will vary depending on the complexity of the project. Contrary to interior painting, exterior house painting is often more costly as it takes into factors like surface preparation and creating accessibility.

When estimating the cost of the project, you should include in your budget the size requirements, labour costs, and the required materials. You can multiply the average price per square foot by the exterior surface area of a property to get a rough estimate. Additional costs can come in the form of setting up scaffolding if the property is multi-story or there is sloped land. When enlisting the services of a professional, ensure that this cost is included in the quote.

Exterior painting in Australia usually falls in the range of $15-$45 per square metre, with larger houses requiring somewhere in the area of $10,000 to $20,000. The price per square metre of brickwork varies from $15 to $45, although timber can rise over $60. For instance, a brick home two stories high with three bedrooms may cost somewhere between $5,000 and $8,500 while weatherboard homes of similar size may fall between $10,000 and $20,000, including all prep works.

Conversely to interior painting, exterior painting is faced with additional complications from elements like weather conditions and surface type. Ensuring the quality of exterior house painting necessitates partnering with a reputable service provider. Fortunately, there are several trusted providers renowned for their expertise in Australia.

Cost to Paint the Interior of the House

Interior house painting includes more than painting walls with colours; it is about transforming a living space into a special sanctuary of comfort and style. Generally, a skilled painter charges between $30 to $45 per square metre in Australia; this includes two finish coats and one undercoat which they ensure are well applied.

The cost range of interior house painting is broad, influenced by the unique characteristics of each home. The price for an average dwelling of 230 square metres will amount to $4,000 – $11,000. Whether you are renovating a 2-bedroom apartment, priced between $2,500 and $5,000, or decorating a spacious 4-bedroom house, with a price range of $5,000 to $7,500, each project is a bespoke venture customised to one’s needs and preferences.

Going beyond the numbers, the soul of interior house painting rests on artistic and detail-oriented integrity. It is not just about covering the surfaces; it is about creating an ambience for the house and expressing one’s personality through minute details. 

The calculation of interior painting quotes by painters is based on the metre square needed for the project, taking into account the size of the room, the condition of the wall and the finish to be applied. The length of each job varies as much as each home does, determined by the intricacies of the interior and the care and precision of the painter. It is the journey from careful planning through to perfect execution which finally turns the houses into homes.

Builder preparing to paint the apartment during renovation

Painting Material Costs

If you are thinking about painting your house, the type of paint you choose, the finish you prefer, and the shade you pick can be crucial for both your desired results and the overall expense. Different paint types, from emulsion paint, and oil-based paint to acrylic paint come at different price points.

Making an informed decision about the type of paint you need is largely dependent on having a conversation with a professional painting company about your preferences and budget. This choice can dramatically affect the expense of redecorating both the interior and the exterior of your house.

Here are some important factors and recommendations to consider when selecting paint for your project:

1. Finish:

  • The final coat of paint, the finish, affects the appearance greatly and is an important layer when you are considering the aesthetic. The choice ranges from flat, semigloss, and matte to eggshell/satin finishes.
  • With flat paint, you achieve a matte finish that hides imperfections, although it has poor stain resistance and cleaning difficulties, so it is recommended for low-traffic areas.
  • Semigloss is the most suitable option when one is looking for maximum protection against scratches and stains as it provides a high shine. Hence, it’s suitable for use for doors and trims.
  • Eggshell and satin finishes provide a surface that is balanced between flat and glossy, which makes them suitable for high-traffic areas such as kitchens and baths.

2. Color:

  • Selecting the appropriate colour is a fundamental factor that will contribute towards the successful completion of your project. It is recommended that you explore different colour-finding software available on paint brand websites or in retailers to narrow down the choices.
  • Testing paint samples in your own house to learn how they appear with different lighting conditions is recommended before you settle on any specific colour.

3. Quantity:

  • Assess the quantity of paint required by summing up the total area of walls, ceilings, and other to-be-painted surfaces.
  • Usually, a gallon of paint covers a range between 350 to 400 sq ft., but most of the brands and stores provide paint calculators to avoid wastage or underestimation.
  • Keep in mind that you can buy five-gallon pails for large-scale projects to improve cost efficiency.

4. Surface Preparation:

  • Surface preparation should be carefully carried out if you want to get a flawless end result. Scrape off and remove the cracked, loose or peeling paint layer with a putty knife, cover the gaps and gouges with caulk and spackling compound, and ensure that all the areas are clean and dry before painting.


In the long run, painting your home goes beyond just a utilitarian job; it’s a chance to liven up your environment with a fresh new look that portrays your style. Each chosen element determines the final appearance and atmosphere of your home.

Through working with expert craftsmen and using top-grade materials you invest not only in a fresh coat of paint but also in the long-term attractiveness and future of your home. We recognise the importance of this expenditure and are dedicated to providing you with outstanding advice and suggestions that continually exceed your expectations.

Whether you are renovating your interiors or simply improving the look of the outside of your house, we will help you tackle every stage of the process. Our experience and attention to detail will be the cornerstones of your project – giving it your personal style and uniqueness.

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