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Understanding Your Painting Quote

Arm yourself with knowledge.

Preparing to repaint your home? Chances are you’ve sourced a few quotes from various painters to ensure you are getting the best deal possible. But all the painting quotes in the world won’t be much help if you don’t understand what you’re looking at!

Many of our clients are surprised by the wide range of prices provided. They want to know that they are getting value for money. 

We’ve put together a few notes on deciphering painting quotes so that you can understand the difference in prices and spot any red or green flags. 

The two key components of any quote will be labour and paint—here’s our breakdown of both costs and what they entail.



Labour usually makes up about 80% of the cost of a house painting project.

For this reason, choosing a painter with lower labour rates or a faster estimated time is the easiest way to reduce the amount you pay. However, there is always a payoff—the faster the job is done, the less chance you have of a quality and lasting result. Additionally, low hourly rates in the quote may mean less experienced painters, and this can bring with it the same issues.

A high-quality result requires experienced, professional painters and enough time to properly prep the walls and get the job done well. A significantly shorter timeframe or much cheaper rates should be a possible red flag for savvy clients. Consider this when comparing quotes!

Precision also requires time and experience. If your home has special features and details that you want looking their best (for example, the beautiful molding in older villas), this should be reflected in the quote. A good painter will consider all aspects.

You should find out whether the painters that will be working on your home are members of Master Painters NZ. Belonging to this national representative body is a good indication that they prioritise quality. You may also seek out reviews on various sites. Some quotes may include time spent on quality assurance procedures and project management. Having your painters pay attention to such things makes it likely that the process will be far less stressful for you as the client.

Here’s our checklist for what you should see on a well-thought-out and comprehensive painter’s quote:


  • A detailed outline of the preparation work that will be undertaken.

  • Assurance of your painter’s qualifications and experience, including current membership of Master Painters NZ.

  • A clear indication of the systems and processes your painter will use to complete the project on time and within budget.

  • Testimonials from previous clients about the standard of workmanship they received.



Low-cost painters generally use cheaper paint products, and this will (of course) be reflected in your quote. They may substitute the paint brand and colour you specify for a cheaper make that has been tinted to match the colour you want. It is important to be aware that this approach can result in a paint job that deteriorates sooner. It may also cause issues with colour matching if you need to repaint areas in the future.

A professional and quality-focused house painting company will:


  • Talk to you at length about your requirements. After they identify your needs, they will suggest appropriate paint products to create the best finish.

  • Use premium paint products that are proven to perform in New Zealand conditions and stand the test of time.

  • Use the exact paint colour and brand that you (or your interior designer/architect) have specified.

What’s important to you?

Ultimately, it’s up to you what you are willing to pay for and how you want the job to be done. Here is what you should think about as you make your decision:

What is important to you? Cost, quality, value for money? Use your criteria to assess which painting contractor and quote will best fulfil your requirements.  

Do you have all the details? Seek more information if there is insufficient detail on a quote. This may be a good way to determine how eager the contractor is for your business. 

How much time will it require of you? Before you choose the cheapest quote, work out what the opportunity cost of your time will be if the painter requires close management or the paintwork needs updating sooner than you had anticipated.


About Wall Treats Master Painters

Wall Treats’ team of professional Auckland painters is led by Master Painter Daniel Zapata. We are committed to delivering top-quality workmanship, proactive communication, and beautiful, lasting results on each one of our house painting projects.


To request a consultation, call us on 0800 008 168.


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