Average Labour Cost/Price to Paint Exterior Walls/Masonry

To clarify the following prices it is recommended that you read the article in the INFORMATION box below the PRICES…

(These prices are based on a tradesman’s rate of £150.00 per day and a labourer if required at £100.00 per day. This includes the cost of buying and collecting any materials, dumping any waste if necessary and any incidental materials they will need. The minimum price will usually be for a half day)

How Much Does it Cost To Paint Outside/Exterior Walls?

paint exterior walls walls

Job 1
You have a three bed semi either brick or render in good condition. It’s being stabilised first, then painted with 2 coats for the first time and there are no access problems. This will take two men 2 days, both painters on £150 a day. (they don’t employ labourers). They will do it from ladders.

Materials £150.00, Labour
£600.00 £750.00

Job 2
As above but it’s already painted, doesn’t need stabilising and the new paint is the same colour.
This will take 1 day

Job 3
Same house but only one wall needs stabilising and painting with 2 coats for the first time


(The same 2 blokes will turn up you see and take less than a day and that’s counting standing around drinking tea, having a fag and looking at all the local talent. BUT they will still charge for 1 day)

Job 4
You have a three bed unpainted pebble-dashed semi. It is being stabilised and painted with 2 coats for the first time and there are no access problems. This will take two men 3 days, both painters on £150 a day.

(Painting over “dash” can take a lot longer and it will also use more paint and stabiliser)

Materials £200, Labour £900

Job 5

As above but it’s
already painted, doesn’t need stabilising and the new paint is the same colour.
This will take 1.5 days, but they will charge for 2

Job 6
Same as job 4 but once again only one wall needs doing. They will get it done in a day but use more materials.

Job 7
You have a large five bedroom detached pebble-dashed house that is already painted, the paint is sound and you want to freshen all four sides with two new coats of paint for cosmetic reasons. This will take two men 3 days.

Materials £250, Labour £900

For your must-see guide to Tradesmen's Rates please click on the map…


A Price Guide and Information Sheet on Painting Exterior Walls


Think long and hard before you do this for the first time. If the walls are already painted you might as well continue the process. But if you have clean, good-condition brick or stonework – our suggestion is to LEAVE WELL ALONE!

Walls, particularly old solid ones, need to “breath”. A rain saturated wall relies mainly on lots of “wind action” to dry it out before the next deluge. If it cannot dry out, guess where the penetrating rainwater will end up? Sunshine helps as well of course but that’s quite often in short supply.

Houses built after the 30’s will be
cavity walled, so the problem of water penetration will not be as relevant, as moisture shouldn’t bridge the gap.

Up to the 1930’s, 99% of houses were built with 9” (230mm) thick solid walls. A cavity wall is two 4” (100mm) walls, built with a gap between them. This was originally 2” (50mm) but, modern houses now have a 4” (100mm) gap, chock full of insulation.

If your external walls are already painted, then make sure they stay
well painted to ensure no rainwater finds its way into the wall. Use good (expensive) paint and use a ‘stabilising solution’ if there is any flakiness to the current paintwork.


You are desperate to paint the “virgin” outside walls of your house. As we said in our chapter on painting woodwork and will continue to say: “Preparation is everything”.

If the walls are masonry, (stone or brick), they need to be properly pointed. Any exfoliated or “spalled” bricks – they’re flaking basically – need to be made good. If the masonry is pebble-dashed, or rendered (mortar has been spread smoothly all over it, hiding the masonry), then this has to be sound and thoroughly stuck to the wall. (It quite often looses adhesion). Rectifying both these problems could cost 10 times more than painting, before you even start.

Have a look at our relevant articles on these subjects.

Right that’s all done then and the wall is ready for the first coat. If the decorator reaches for the paint, sack him. The first coat onto a “virgin” wall must be stabiliser. This is effectively a thin glue which seals the wall, sticking all the dust you can’t see, to the brick or stonework or pebbledash or render. If you paint on top of dust, you aren’t painting the
wall at all are you? Try painting a beach and see the result!

You then need coats of the best quality masonry paint. It doesn’t matter whether it is smooth or textured so long as it’s prohibitively expensive. Here, if nowhere else in life you will get what you pay for.

If you are
repainting, remove every bit of loose paint before you start, never paint over loose stuff. If this exposes a lot of brick or pebbledash or render, then stabilise everything first. The reason it’s all coming off, is probably because it was never stabilised in the first place.

That’s it really! The painter now spends two days in your shed dodging showers and during the brief dry spells he gift-wraps your house with a 2mm coat of paint. Hey presto, the neighbours start looking a bit closer at the paintwork on their own house and you sip a G&T in your garden.

Questions to ask the decorator during his quotation visit.

What materials are you going to use?
Check the actual paint and stabiliser he is going to use. Agree this with him and make sure his quote states what you’ve agreed, then make sure he turns up with it and nothing else!

Don’t let him water the paint down, that among other things, is what cheap paint is.

Will you be using scaffolding?
This isn’t necessary on your average house but will be necessary to get over the top of most conservatories.

Will you be covering everything under where you are working all the time.
He will say yes but the wind will keep blowing the covers away and driving him potty.

How many coats are you going to give it?
If he uses cheap paint he will definitely need 2, possibly 3 coats. Even good stuff doesn’t always cover 100% satisfactorily in one coat every time. It depends on the paint colour and how it contrasts with what’s there now. (white paint on red brickwork). We advise good paint and two coats, then it’s “job done” every time.

A-Z of Job Pricing