We’ve put together a list of the most common questions customers ask before choosing our decorating services.

Q: How much does it cost to paint a 3-bedroom house?

A: It’s difficult to answer precisely – it’s a bit like pricing a car by its model alone! We would want to see the property to review it in person, but to give you a rough idea of how our pricing works, here is an example:

Let’s assume the basic bedroom size is 3m x 4m, and the ceiling is 2.4m high.

  • Areas to be painted:
    • Ceiling – white matt emulsion
    • Walls – colour emulsion
    • Skirting boards, door and frame – white
  • All-inclusive estimate:
    • Bedrooms – £700 each
    • 2 reception rooms (slightly bigger than the bedrooms) – £900 each
    • Hall, stairs and landing – £2,100
    • Kitchen and bathroom – £700

Total – £6,700

There are some ways we could reduce this cost, such as:

  • Working on an unoccupied property, where work can be carried out in many areas at once – £160 reduction
  • Painting all walls in one colour – £40 reduction
  • All walls are painted white like the ceilings – £300 reduction
  • The floor doesn’t need protecting – £100 reduction

New total – £6,100

This estimate would include the use of Dulux trade or Crown trade paint.

Please note that this is a very rough estimate – a room that is complex to decorate could cost in the region of £2,000+. There are many factors that would affect this cost – here are just some of them:

  • There is lots of furniture that needs to be covered or moved
  • More expensive paint is used
  • Additional items need to be painted, like picture rails, dado rails, coving, windows, radiators and/or covers
  • The ceiling is higher
  • Wallpaper needs to be stripped
  • Skimming or wall lining is needed
  • Wallpaper is being hung

We can also offer you a 10% discount on the total cost when we complete work in January.

Q: How much does it cost to paint the outside of a house?

A: Again, it’s hard to offer a precise answer as each property is so different. Certain exterior features like sash windows are time consuming and labour intensive because of the amount of precise cutting in they require. We have to factor this in when charging customers and this means that a sash window can cost £150 alone to repaint.

In terms of painting general exterior surfaces, our prices are as follows (per square metre, assuming ground level access):

Rendering – previously painted £15, unpainted £25.

Pebbledash – previously painted £25, unpainted £35.  

However, it is important to bear in mind that access costs are often significant for exterior works. In some cases, they can even outweigh the actual costs involved with the decorating process. We will always work with you to identify the most efficient and cost-effective access method for your project, but unfortunately exterior work does incur this additional cost.

Q: Will you do a good job?

A: We take pride in completing each project to a high standard and will always aim to exceed your expectations. But don’t just take our word for it, take a look at some of our previous work.

Q: How long will it take?

A: Each project is different, but we will give you an estimated schedule when we quote.

Q: What is your availability?

A: We will let you know our availability at the time of quoting. It may change from day to day, so please check again when you are ready to go ahead.

Q: Where are you based? What areas do you cover?

A: We are based in Bromley in South East London and our team of decorators are able to carry out work throughout London, Kent, and Surrey. To see if you are based in an area that we cover, please consult our Where We Work page.

Q: Do you give free, no obligation quotes?

A: Yes, we do. We aim to return a written quote within two days of visiting you.

Q: How quickly will you provide a quote?

A: We usually provide a quote within two days. But if we are very busy and know that it is going to take longer, we will always tell you.

Q: How many quotes should I get?

A: Three quotes is reasonable, especially if you have done your homework and have researched the companies. Some people get more in order to find the cheapest possible option but this takes time and you often end up with worse service if you go down this route.

Some tradespeople don’t respond when asked for a quote. We never do this – you can always count on us to supply one of your three quotes.

Q: Are your prices negotiable?

A: We have an accurate pricing structure in place and we make sure our painters earn reasonable money. Built into this is the quality of our work – we always ensure we meet the high standards we set for ourselves. If you want to save some money on your project, here are some tips:

  • Schedule the work in January, when we can offer a 10% discount
  • Get a quote in advance and we can advise you on efficiency
  • Move and secure furniture yourself
  • Let us use a parking space if there are parking costs on your street

Q: How would you like to get paid?

A: We ask for a 10% deposit at the time of booking. We take weekly interim payments on larger projects, and the final payment on satisfactory completion.

Q: Do you have any references?

A: Yes, we do. We have been trading since 2006 and have a large portfolio of completed work. Please ask and we will find a customer that you can speak to.

Q: Do you offer a guarantee?

A: Yes, we offer a 12-month guarantee that covers our workmanship on both interior and exterior projects.

However, please note that we can only guarantee the quality of the work that we have carried out ourselves. For this reason, our decorators will recommend that you have existing paint stripped when it looks like it may compromise the durability of the new paint. If you choose not to follow this advice and the existing paint lifts and takes the new paint with it, you won’t be covered by our guarantee.

Q: Are you a company or a one-man band?

A: We are a well-established company with a number of licensed decorators operating under our brand. All our decorators have at least five years’ experience and have been hand-selected because of the quality of their work. They will have worked with us for at least six months and in many cases will have been with us for years.

If you are a domestic customer, you will be dealing with one of our local decorators from start to finish. If you are not happy with any aspect of their work for any reason, we will organise a replacement or correct their work without any additional charges. However, this is incredibly rare as our decorators are experienced and very thorough. Larger or time-limited projects can be taken over by our commercial team.

Q: What are your decorators like? Will they discuss my project with me?

A: All our decorators have been chosen because they are skilled, polite, and provide excellent customer service. You’ll deal with one of our local decorators from the initial quotation, right through to the completion of your project, and they’ll be able to advise you on any decorating matters. We always work this way so that you know your project will be handled by someone who knows exactly what it requires.

Q: Do you know other trades?

A: We are well connected to many other trades and will be happy to recommend good people if asked.

Q: Why are you more expensive than hiring my neighbour/friend?

A: We understand that we will not win every job and that there is always a way for people to try and cut costs. Chances are that your neighbour or friend may need some advice, in which case they can send us an email and we will try to help. If they can do the job well – maybe they would like to work with us?

Q: Do I need to buy the paint?

A: If you want to buy your own paint or you already have it, that’s fine. We recommend trade paint – if this word is on the tin, the paint is of a better quality than retail paint, even with an expensive brand name. We are happy to buy the paint on your behalf, as generally we can get the paint at a lower price than our customers and it is our responsibility to get the right type and finish.

Q: Will you move the furniture?

A: We are happy to move furniture for you as an additional service. Please be aware that because this can be a time-consuming process, we will need to charge according to the amount of labour required.

Q: Can I leave you the key?

A: Absolutely. All our decorators are completely reliable. They have been working with us for at least six months, and most of them have been with us for years. We wouldn’t employ anyone whose integrity is in doubt.

Q: Do you hang wallpaper?

A: Yes, we do. A guide cost for the labour involved is £80 per roll but this can be reduced on plain walls (no windows, faceplates, lights etc).

Q: Can you decorate over the weekend?

A: Yes, we can. We charge 150% of our standard rates to make sure our decorators receive fair pay for their work. This is likely to be a more practical option for businesses who want to minimise disruption to their company. For homeowners, we are happy to hold your keys if you would prefer us to work in the week.

Q: Do you offer repairs or touch ups?

A: We can complete small carpentry repairs like the replacement of a windowsill or a skirting board. We also have a plasterer working for our company who can help you to prepare your walls for decorating. If you need any other trades, we can always recommend good people.

Completed work can be touched up if needed but you should be aware that the new paint is unlikely to blend in with the existing paint, even if it is exactly the same colour. To avoid creating an uneven finish we recommend repainting the entire wall corner-to-corner. This is a more effective approach because there are already subtle differences between walls due to the way that light hits them.

Q: Will you rub down all surfaces?

A: Woodwork must be rubbed down before undercoating – it’s a crucial part of the preparation process. We also sand with fine sandpaper between coats. This is not the case when emulsion is being painted over with new emulsion, as sanding the walls doesn’t improve the adhesion of new paint.

Q: Will you wash walls?

A: Exterior walls, yes. Interior walls, no, as it is not needed. The exception would be if there is existing chalk paint on a surface that needs repainting, but such paint has not been in use for many years.

Q: Will you paint two coats?

A: We follow manufacturers’ instructions in order to achieve the best possible finish with the products we are using. Generally, one coat is not sufficient for achieving a nice finish. The exception would be a ceiling that gets sprayed. Spray application distributes the paint in such a way that one coat can be very thick, and on a ceiling it won’t run. On a rare occasion when interior walls are being repainted with exactly the same colour, one coat may be sufficient.

On the other hand, with some colours, and especially with Farrow and Ball paint, three coats are necessary. With gloss, an undercoat is a strict requirement – satin and eggshell are self-undercoating, so two coats are needed. For exterior work the number of coats is really important as more coats will offer better protection against the weather. We usually paint two coats of masonry paint on walls and three coats of an appropriate paint system on woodwork (this doesn’t include primer and stabiliser).

Q: Do you use Farrow and Ball, Little Green, Fired Earth, Mylands and other designer brands?

A: Yes, we can use designer paints if requested. Our quotes generally don’t allow for designer paint so please expect additional cost. Not only does this account for differences in product prices, it also covers any additional labour that may be involved. This is important because many designer paints require additional coats to achieve the intended finish.

Q: Does it matter which colours I choose?

A: Yes, it does. Tinted paint costs more than white or magnolia and it cannot be returned. It also depends on existing colours that need to be covered – strong dark blues and browns may take four/five coats to disappear. Reds and yellows don’t cover well and usually need and extra layer. If you are looking to repaint a brown with yellow, please be prepared for additional cost and time. Repainting with the same colour is much easier.

Q: Do we need to move out for the decorating?

A: Usually it is not necessary but there will be some inconvenience to the residents. We will do what we can to minimise any disruption and to work around you, but you will need to adjust a little bit too. The best time to discuss logistics is when we come to quote. Each area has its own difficulties, but probably the hardest for us is the staircase. It’s hard to work when residents go up and down while painters are using ladders.

Contact Brush Strokes Decorating to ask us any questions that you may have about our work. You can call us on 020 8468 1512 or email