How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Two-bedroom Apartment in Australia?

2 bedroom apartment painting in sydney

The average cost to paint a 2-bedroom apartment in Australia can range from approximately $2,000 to $3,500 or more, depending on factors such as the size of the apartment, the quality of materials used, and the complexity of the job. These cost estimates are based on my personal experience as a professional painter in Sydney with more than 10 years of experience. 

As an experienced painter, I understand the typical costs and materials needed to paint various-sized apartments in Australia. 

Over the hundreds of apartment painting jobs I’ve completed, I started to notice some clear pricing patterns emerging. I extracted hard numbers on actual costs correlated to apartment sizes and bedroom counts over the past 5 years to get the averages.

The range provided factors in the use of mid-grade quality paints and assumes standard prep work. More complex jobs with high-end paints or extensive prep can fall above the range. 

Size Matters: Evaluating Your 2-Bedroom Apartment

When considering the cost of painting your 2-bedroom apartment, size really does matter. A 2-bedroom unit can vary significantly in Australia, typically between 50 and 100 square meters. The larger the apartment, the more paint and materials you’ll need, inevitably increasing the cost. 

Thus, measuring the exact square footage of your space is the first step in estimating your painting expenses. Don’t forget to account for the height of your ceilings, as taller rooms require more paint and potentially more labour.

Factors Affecting 2 Bedroom Apartment Painting Cost

The price of painting a 2-bedroom apartment isn’t just about the size—it’s influenced by a myriad of additional factors that could either hike up or scale down the expenses. Here are some elements to consider:

  1. Ceiling Height: Higher ceilings require more time on ladders or scaffolding, upping the cost.
  2. Total Area Covered: Not just floor size but also wall area impacts the paint and labour required.
  3. Number of Colours and Type of Paint: Using multiple colours or premium paint brands can increase costs.
  4. Wall Condition: Imperfections that need repair before painting can add to the prep work and total price.
  5. Decorative Features: Crown moulding or accent walls can complicate the painting process, potentially leading to higher costs.
  6. Paint Removal Treatments: This will add to the bottom line if your walls need stripping or special treatments like mould remediation.

When budgeting for an apartment paint job, meticulous details can greatly impact the cost. Here are some detail-oriented factors to keep in mind:

  • Trim and Moulding: Detailed trims and mouldings can be time-consuming to paint, thus increasing labour costs.
  • Ceiling Patterns and Textures: Special ceiling textures or designs require additional effort and materials.
  • Window Types: Complex window structures, like French windows, demand more precision and time.
  • Accent Walls or Patterns: These creative touches involve more intricate work and can lead to higher costs.

Each detail adds layers of complexity to a painting project, so when you’re gathering quotes, ensure these nuances are factored into the estimates for an accurate financial plan.

Potential Unforseen Expenses During an Apartment Painting Project

Unforeseen expenses can pop up during an apartment painting project, but being aware of common ones can help you budget better:

  • Wall Repairs: Beyond minor touch-ups, more extensive wall repair can increase costs unexpectedly.
  • Primer Needs: If walls are heavily stained or you’re drastically changing the colour, the additional primer may be necessary.
  • Colour Corrections: Buying new paint adds to the budget if the initially chosen colour doesn’t turn out as expected.
  • Weather Delays: For exterior painting, unpredictable weather can delay the project and potentially add costs.

Setting aside a contingency fund of around 10-20% of the total estimate can help manage these unpredictable expenses.

Managing Additional Costs Without Compromising Quality

Dealing with additional costs doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing quality. Here’s how to manage your budget smartly:

  • Prioritize Tasks: Identify which areas of your painting project are non-negotiable and which can be adjusted or postponed if unexpected costs arise.
  • Flexible Scheduling: If you’re not in a hurry, some painters might offer flexible scheduling discounts that allow them to fill in gaps between other jobs.
  • Material Choice: Opt for the best paint you can afford within your budget, but limit premium choices to high-visibility or high-traffic areas.
  • Communicate with Your Painter: Keep the lines of communication open with your painter. They can offer cost-saving solutions that don’t compromise the integrity of the work.

Adopting a flexible, informed approach helps in balancing financial constraints with the desire for a quality finish.

Ways to Save on Flat Painting Expenses

DIY Painting vs. Hiring Professionals 

Embarking on a DIY painting project might seem like a budget-friendly option at first glance, with savings primarily arising from sidestepping labour costs. However, this only holds true if you’re confident in your painting skills and the end result doesn’t require professional correction.

For DIY, you’ll need to budget for:

  • Paint and primer
  • Brushes, rollers, and trays
  • Painter’s tape and drop cloths
  • Ladder or scaffolding rental

In contrast, hiring professional painters, although initially more expensive due to labour costs, brings expertise and efficiency to the project. Pros can often secure paint at a discount, have all the necessary equipment, and deliver a high-quality finish, potentially saving you money in the long term.

Pros of Hiring Professionals:

  • Expertise in application and finish
  • Access to professional-grade equipment
  • Potential for discounted materials
  • Time-efficient

Cons of DIY:

  • Time-consuming
  • Risk of errors and subsequent costs for fixes
  • Initial investment in tools and materials

The bottom line is, if you’re not experienced, what you save in money might be paid in time and potential do-overs.

Selecting the Right Paint Colour and Type for your Apartment

Selecting the perfect paint colour while mindful of your budget involves a strategic approach:

  1. Choose Classic Over Trendy: Classic colours are more likely to stand the test of time, preventing the need for frequent repainting.
  2. Go for Versatility: Neutral colours can appeal to a wider range of tastes, which is important if you’re considering resale value.
  3. Utilize Paint Mixing: Sometimes, mixing custom colours can be less expensive than pre-mixed designer paints.
  4. Test With Samples: Buying small sample pots to test colours can prevent costly mistakes of larger quantities of the wrong colour.

By focusing on timeless appeal and testing thoroughly before committing, you can avoid unnecessary extra costs and ensure satisfaction with the finished product.

Choosing the right type of paint is pivotal, not only for the final look but also for the longevity of your paint job. While there are budget-friendly options on the market, investing in high-quality paint can save you money in the long run due to its durability and better coverage, meaning less frequent repaints.

 High-quality paints also often boast additives that protect against mould, mildew, and fading.

Different finishes, from flat to high-gloss, impact both the paint’s appearance and its cleanability. For common areas and high-traffic zones, one might opt for a more durable, washable finish, such as satin or semi-gloss, although these finishes can be more expensive than their counterparts. 

Specialty paints, including those with textures or metallic finishes, can significantly elevate the cost as well but add a unique touch to your space.

Preparing Your Apartment For Painting

How to Prep Your Space for Cost-Effective Painting

To prep your space for a cost-effective painting project, consider these steps:

  1. Clear the room of furniture or move items to the center and cover them with drop cloths or plastic sheeting.
  2. Clean walls with soap and water to remove dust and grime, facilitating better paint adherence and a smoother finish.
  3. Patch any holes or cracks with spackling paste and sand the areas smooth once dry.
  4. Remove outlet covers and light switch plates to prevent paint from getting on them.
  5. Apply painter’s tape to edges and trim to ensure clean lines and protect surfaces from accidental brush strokes.

Handling these tasks yourself can reduce the painter’s prep time and, consequently, the cost of labour.

What Pre-Painting Work Can You Tackle Yourself?

You can undertake several pre-painting tasks to cut down on professional costs:

  • Scraping: Remove any flaking paint from the walls to create a smooth base for the new coat.
  • Sanding: If you’re dealing with glossy surfaces or want to even out spackling, sanding is an essential step.
  • Taping: Use painter’s tape around door frames, windows, and baseboards to protect them from stray brush strokes.
  • Cleaning: Wash walls to remove dust, oils, and other residues that could prevent paint from adhering properly.
  • Priming: If necessary, apply a primer to ensure a consistent and long-lasting finish.

Tackling these tasks can make it more affordable if you do decide to bring in a pro for the actual painting.

Insider Tips for Negotiating With Apartment Painters

Haggling might not be your strong suit, but when negotiating with painters, there are a few insider tips that can help you secure a better deal:

  1. Get Multiple Quotes: Shop around and get estimates from various painters. This not only gives you a sense of what the going rate is but also provides leverage for negotiations.
  2. Be Transparent About Your Budget: Sometimes painters can tailor their services to your budget without compromising quality.
  3. Choose Off-Peak Times: Painters may be more willing to negotiate on price during their slower seasons.
  4. Offer to Prep the Space: They might lower their labour charge if you’re willing to do some pre-painting prep work.
  5. Supply Your Own Paint: Buying your own paint on sale could reduce the overall cost; just make sure it’s the quality and type the painter approves.

Remember, while cost is important, so is the quality of the work. It’s crucial to balance getting a good deal and a paint job that lasts. 


The actual painting time will vary depending on the size of the rooms and complexity of the job, but for a typical 2-bedroom apartment with living room and kitchen, expect the painting portion to take 2-3 days with a 2-person professional paint crew.

However, it’s important to factor in additional pre-painting prep time for tasks like patching holes, light sanding, masking trim, moving furniture, and laying drop cloths. 

With proper prep included, I estimate a full interior paint job for a standard 2-bedroom Sydney apartment spans 4-5 days from start to finish. The prep portion alone can take 1-2 days depending on the condition of walls and required patching/repairs. 

But a crew of professional painters can usually complete the painting itself within 2-3 days before returning for a quick touch up and final check the following day. 

For one-bedroom apartments approximately 50 sqm, the painting costs tend to start around $1,000 on the lower end of the range. Pricing is highly dependent on size – more spacious 1 bedroom apartments could reach up to $1,800 or more to paint due to higher ceilings and complex layouts requiring more time and materials.

3 bedroom apartment painting for 120 sqm averages $2,500. However, premium finishes and greater living space associated with 3 bedroom apartments pushed costs toward the higher end, with top-tier jobs reaching upward of $4,500 or more.

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Owner at Painters Parramatta | + posts

I'm Ibby, the lead painter at Painters Parramatta. I'm not just a professional painter; I'm a passionate writer with a deep love for all things related to painting. As the proud owner of PaintersParramatta.com.au, I've dedicated my career to the art of transforming spaces and enhancing the beauty of homes and businesses in the vibrant city of Sydney, Australia. With nearly two decades of experience in the painting industry, I've left my artistic mark on countless homes and spaces. My love for painting is evident in the meticulous craftsmanship I bring to every project, creating stunning transformations that captivate the eye and enrich the soul.

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