When setting off on a painting project, whether sprucing up your home or giving your business premises a fresh look, understanding the costs involved is crucial. The Australian market offers a wide range of paint options, each with its price points and applications. 

This guide dives into what influences these costs and how you can make informed decisions for your projects.

Paints and Purposes

Paint selection is the first step in planning your project. In Australia, common types include latex (water-based), oil-based, and acrylic paints. Latex paints are popular for their ease of clean-up and durability, making them ideal for interior walls and ceilings. Prices for quality interior latex paint can range from $30 to $70 per litre, depending on the brand and quality.

Oil-based paints, known for their resilience and smooth finish, are often the go-to for trim and mouldings. These can cost anywhere from $40 to $100 per litre. Acrylic paints, favoured for exterior projects, offer excellent weather resistance and colour retention, with prices ranging from $35 to $80 per litre.

Factors to Think About on Costs

The price of paint isn’t just about what’s in the can. Factors like the paint’s ingredients, brand reputation, finish, and special features (like eco-friendliness or mildew resistance) can all affect cost. 

Premium paints with advanced features such as low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) might be pricier, costing upwards of $100 per litre, but they offer benefits like better indoor air quality and longer durability.

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The Differences Between Doing DIY and Professional Applications

Labour costs can vary significantly between DIY, professional home painting, and commercial projects. DIY painting costs are primarily your time and materials, but don’t forget the value of your time. The average house painting cost for paint and materials can be as low as $38 per hour and can go up to $50. But when talking about commercial painting costs, prices can range between $45 to $60 per hour but can extend up to $100 to $150 for exterior high-rise work using abseiling.

The size and complexity of the job, the condition of the surfaces, and the number of coats required all play into the final cost. Remember these factors as well as the price range so you won’t get lost when balancing out the total costs.

Looking Into the Long Term

Investing in high-quality paint can lead to long-term savings. While the initial outlay might be higher, premium paints with better coverage, durability, and longevity mean you won’t need to repaint as often. 

For instance, a high-quality exterior acrylic paint could last up to 10-15 years in the Australian climate, compared to 5-7 years for a mid-range option. This durability translates to lower maintenance and repainting costs over time.

Some Tips to Think About

To stretch your painting budget further, consider these tips:

  • Buy paint in bulk where possible. Many retailers offer discounts for larger quantities.
  • Timing your project can also lead to savings. Painting contractors may offer off-season discounts during winter.
  • Look for trusted contractors with testimonials and portfolios about previous work or projects. It’s a good way to weed out any potential scam or substandard work.
  • Comparing quotes from several contractors can help ensure you’re getting the best deal for professional work. Remember to check references and past work quality.
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Painting projects, whether for your home or business, are significant investments. Understanding the types of paint available, what influences their costs, and the associated labour charges can help you budget effectively. Remember, investing in quality paint and professional application can save money in the long run through reduced maintenance and longer intervals between repaints.


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