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Why does it cost extra to have more than one paint colour in my home?



Some of the homes we’ve wandered through after we’ve finished them are stunning because of the uniformity of just one colour throughout. But we can also say that that clearly doesn’t work for everyone and some of the most beautiful homes we’ve seen over the years have a feature wall or two inside them. But we do get the question from time to time as to why does it cost extra to have more than one paint colour in my home?


Well, there is a cost to adding an extra colour or two – or three. It’s not an enormous cost, but it is fair dinkum, and it’s mainly due to two things: materials and labour.


Materials? you say! Doesn’t all paint cost the same regardless of the colour? Well, almost. But that’s not what we’re actually talking about. It’s the sheer volume of paint that’s the catch. Let’s use an example to explain it in more detail.


A painter looks at the size of the home, does some calculations on their phone using the calculator app and works out that they need 4 tubs of 20 litres for the walls in your home. But then they notice that there’s a feature wall in the master bedroom that’s a different colour. So they look at the size of the wall and calculate that they’ll need 3 litres for that. But you can’t buy a 3 litre tin, so it has to be 4 litres. Then they realise that they’ll still need to get the original 4 tubs of 20 litres – there’s no such thing as only ordering a tub of 17 or 16 litres to compensate.


So there it is – an extra 4 litres of paint’s needed. But not only that, it’s substantially cheaper to buy it in 20 litre tubs than a 4 litre tub. So not only is there an extra 4 litres to buy, but it’s 4 litres at $20 a litre instead of $15 a litre. This will vary from wall to wall, but for this example – for one feature wall – there’s an extra $80 of paint to start with.


There’s also some other materials that will be needed, but we’ll come back to that in a minute. Lets jump to the extra labour involved. A different colour takes longer to paint? Well, once again, not really. But …! Let’s use an example.


So back to the painter of your new home. They’re out there, 2 or 3 of them, working away painting your home. They’ve got their rollers, roller trays and paint brushes in their hands, all in the same main colour of your home, and they’re flying along painting all of the internal walls of your home.


Then one of them gets to the feature wall in your bedroom. So they stop work, go and wash out their tools with the main colour in them. Then they close up the 20 litre tub. Then get out the 4 litre special colour. Then get a fresh set of tools. Mix up the new colour. Cut in carefully around the edges, taking care not to get any of the new colour over the contrasting line where it meets the other colour. Then they paint the wall. Then pack up that colour, wash it all out, and then back to the other colour. And then guess what? They have to do this all over again for the 2nd and 3rd coats!


In reality, one single feature wall can add an extra hour or two to the painters time. And then there’s the flow-on costs of extra masking up materials, extra mixing and other sundry items.


We reckon that a feature wall generally costs the painter somewhere around $25 to $100 extra, depending on the colour, the size, and whether it affects adjoining walls, timberwork and ceiling. And then they typically don’t do things for free, so we also do see a bit of fat on top of that for their troubles. Of course, if you get multiple walls in different positions in the home and they’re the same colour, then there’s some efficiencies in that.


Of course, we’re not referring to two different colours in the sense of the ceiling being Ceiling White and the walls being Hog Bristle, and the timber work being half-strength Hog Bristle. That’s normal for a painter. We’re referring to special additional colours within one of these particular areas.


So, go for it with those additional colours and feature walls – we think that in some homes they can play an important part in getting the right mood and theme of a home, and as we said at the start of the article, they can really make a home look beautiful. But just always keep in mind that there’s a small cost that goes along with it.


As always, reach out to us for more information!


Disclaimer. This blog is our opinion only. The information provided in our blogs is accurate and true to the best of our knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. The information presented in our blogs is for informational purposes only and we are not professionals, so the content we provide shouldn’t be taken as legal advice. We strongly recommend consulting with a professional before taking any sort of action. We reserve the right to change how we manage our blog and we may change the focus or content at any time.

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