How to renovate your BTO HDB yourself: Part 5 – Painting

After the installation of all wiring (only needed if you are shifting, adding or removing power points or lighting points) and pipes (aircon and gas pipping), you can proceed to paint your house. Do read all the  previous posts on “How to renovate your BTO HDB yourself” as this is a continuation posting.

Reasons to paint your house first

1) Good painting finishing for all areas: It is very difficult to achieve good finishing around the area where the carpentry and the wall meet if painting is done after carpentry, for example the wardrobe is installed. Even if the carpenter dirtied some of the area while installing the wardrobe, the painter only need to do some touchup and the wall will look as good as freshly painted. This apply to the window grille as well. if the window grilles are stalled first, there will be many blind spots where the painter cannot access.

2) Paint the area that will be covered up: I am sure you would love to have the wall behind your wardrobe to be painted as well even if you are not going to see it until the day the wardrobe is removed.

3) Patching up the areas affected by the pipping and wiring installation: If all the lights fixtures and aircon blowers are installed, there is no way the painter is able to reach the hacked or drilled areas (these areas need proper patching up with plaster followed by painting over). Electrician and aircon installer will not patch up properly (nice and neat) for you.

4) Your carpentry or window grille will not get paint stains: During the painting process, there will be many small droplets of paint flying around especially while painting the ceiling. I am sure you do not want your new wardrobe to be covered with paint droplets.

What to do before engaging the painter

1) Prepare your floor plan: The reason for the floor plan is to help you to indicate the paint colours for each areas clearly. This floor plan will be given to the painter so that he will know which paint to buy. This is also to serve as a black and white (paper documentation) to prevent any miscommunication.

2) Colour selection: You can select your paint colours or types using hardcopy paint catelog from hardware store or digital paint catelog from the paint supplier websites. Some paint suppliers also provide colour preview service which can be really helpful.

Painting works-15

Picture taken from

3) Special painting requirements or designs: You might want to have some designs for your wall using paint, for example strips, etc. Do draw out the design clearly on a paper and indicate which wall and the colour code. Not all painters do designs or special requirements. Do check with the painter before engaging him. Do note that there will be additional cost for such requirements depending on the design and difficulty.

Commonly used paint brands in Singapore

Nippon paint & ICI Dulux paint
These 2 paint brands are the most commonly used brands in Singapore. Almost all Interior Designers and contractors uses them. They are reasonably priced with good quality paint. They also have very good reputation and are well known among all homeowners and Interior Designers. Do take note that there are many paint varieties and grades. They are all priced differently. For more information about the differences in paint varieties, do visit their websites.

Jotun paint
II include this brand because I do see a lot of their commercial in Singapore. However, I have not heard of any Interior Designer using this brand. Therefore I am unable to comment the quality or the pricing.

Common misunderstanding

Some Interior Designers or painter like to differentiate ICI and Dulux (Premium). In actual fact, both are from the same company. This is how you should differentiate between the 2 brands:

1) Basic paint: Nippon 5000 Vs Dulux Pentalite (or ICI Pentalite)

2) Premium paint : Nippon All in One Vs Dulux All (Previously known as ICI Supreme 3-in-1)

If you are engaging a Interior Designer, do check the quotation regarding the paint used. If you want to use the premium paint, you must include the name Nippon All in One or Dulux All in the contract.


My painter charged me a total of $900 (contractor price) for my Dad’s BTO 3 room HDB including:

  • Paint type: ICI pentalite or Nippon 5000 only
  • Colours limitation: 6 colours per job
  • Duration: 1 to 2 days for first round of painting and another 1 day for paint touch up (after the renovation works are completed or just before washing the house)

Reasons why I use my own painter: I trusted him and the painting work is worry free for me. He provide really good service with excellent attitude. Attitude is very important to me because it makes the whole renovation process stress-free and a happy one.

Painting works-11 Painting works-12

Painters putting protective sheets to protect the floor and other “paint free” areas

Painting works-14 Painting works-13

Painting works-1

The strip on the left is done by my painter which I find it very well done!

Promotion from other painters

Painting works-2

I found this pasted in the lift. I find their pricing really low. This is only a single trip painting work. Do enquire them about 2 trips painting works and their pricing. Do see at least one sample unit from them so that you can at least have a feel of their working process and finished product. If you do not like what you see, it means this painter is not suitable for you.

Promotion from paint suppliers


Painting works-4

Information taken from on 31 Jan 2015


Painting works-3

Information taken from on 31 Jan 2015

Things to take note

  • Painting job cannot be perfect: Only machine can do a perfect job. If you can get 90% satisfaction from a painting job, I think the painter is already exceeding expectation.
  • Mark out all the areas that needed touching up: A masking tape will be useful when identifying the “touch up” areas. Do the marking the day before the painter arrived. At least the painter will know where are the spots that you wanted corrections while he checks for others.
  • Do not throw away the excess paint: You can remove the excess paints 2 to 3 months after you have moved in. This is to let you make any necessary touch up if you have to.
  • Indication of correct paint used: The containers containing the paint is your only indication that the correct paint type and colour code are used. Not leaving the paint containers behind is not an acceptable excuse. Without the containers, there is a possibility that the painter is not being honest about the source of the paint.
  • Not all printing works are included in the quoted price: Painting of doors, window grilles, windows, balcony railing, common area wall at your main door, carpentry or furnitures are usually not inclusive in the quoted pricing. Please check with your painter if you want those areas to be painted.


Different painters provide different services, reliability and painting finishing. If you are choosing a private painter, do make sure its recommended. You can also go to the paint supplier directly for their painting services. The worst is to go for a painter that is not recommended and you get short changed because the dishonest painter use a cheaper paint or leftovers from another projects. As for pricing, both private painters and paint supplier painting service provide very competitive pricing.

Blog about Interior Design, renovation and home improvement.


61 Responses to “How to renovate your BTO HDB yourself: Part 5 – Painting”

  1. Dave

    Feb 08. 2015

    Do you think it is worth it to save a few bucks and do the painting overselves? If so, can you give some tips on painting. Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
    • Vincent

      Feb 17. 2015

      If I am you, I will not do it. Too much work and I am not trained to do it. It might seems simple but a lot of handwork and experiences needed. 4 experienced person can complete a BTO 3 room flat in one day. How many days do you think you need to paint if you are going to do it by yourself? Is your time worth that few hundred dollars? Are you even able to do a good job? do ask yourself these questions before you even think of painting yourself.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Ray

    Mar 03. 2015

    Should we do flooring or painting first?

    Reply to this comment
    • Vincent

      Mar 05. 2015

      Hi Ray,

      That depends on the type of flooring you are doing.

      If tile flooring, the you will do the tiling works first before painting. If laminate or engineered wood, the you can paint first before fixing the flooring. If mix, for example tiles in living and laminate in room, the you will tile your living room first, paint the whole house, followed by fixing the laminate flooring.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Dayle

    Mar 16. 2015

    Awesome renovation. It really makes the wall more interesting and also eye catching. Thanks for posting.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Helen

    Mar 16. 2015

    This is really awesome, indeed! Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been able to be more familiar on renovating process..

    Reply to this comment
  5. clement chon

    Mar 28. 2015

    can you recommend your painter?

    Reply to this comment
    • Vincent

      Apr 11. 2015

      I can’t post the details of the painter here because of pricing issue. I will send to your email.

      Reply to this comment
      • Kenosis

        May 24. 2015

        Hi Vincent, does your painter also do patching up of holes (fm wall mounted fan) on the wall? If yes, may I have the details of your painter please? Thank you

        Reply to this comment
        • Vincent

          May 27. 2015

          Hi Kenosis,

          The painter sometimes do minor patching. If there are too many, there may be charges. At the moment, the painter I use does not do private job.

          Reply to this comment
  6. MK

    Apr 26. 2015

    Can I have the details of your painter, aircon installer and carpenter?

    Reply to this comment
    • Vincent

      May 27. 2015

      The contractors that I know usually doesn’t deal directly with homeowners. You can send me your contact number and I will ask them to contact you if you have available slots to do your job.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Kenosis

    May 13. 2015

    Thanks for your post Vincent.
    What about a resale flat, where seller had their whole area painted pink except the ceiling. Do I need to do a first coating then come the installation of aircon, electrical appliances and reno? Meaning to say; can we just paint our intended wall colour as the first and final coating?

    Appreciate your valuable advice to the above.

    Reply to this comment
    • Vincent

      May 27. 2015

      Hi Kenosis,

      Aircon pipping should be completed first, followed by first layer of painting. After the installation of the aircon units, the painters can come back for the final touch up.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Interior Design

    Jun 02. 2015

    What could be the best option to re-paint a portion of the wall that has been decorated with Modern Art by a 2 yr old kid.Looking for fun ideas.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Ben

    Jun 11. 2015

    Bro can email me at your printer contact? thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  10. Shikin

    Jun 27. 2015

    Would love to have your painter’s number too! Thanks 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  11. Mag

    Jun 27. 2015

    May I have the painter’s contact too? Thank you
    My email address:

    Reply to this comment
  12. Kenosis

    Jul 21. 2015

    Hi Vincent I ve gotten the paints already can I just engage ur painter to paint my place. Care to share their contact with me ? Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Car

    Jul 29. 2015


    I would like the contact of your painter too…
    is it ok to fwd the info to me too?


    Reply to this comment
  14. Mand

    Jul 30. 2015

    Hi, can I use paint to painting aircon cover and normal paint can be use?

    Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Wong

    Nov 03. 2015

    Is it ok to accept the paint work as it is from HDB, thereby saving costs? Or is it recommended or a must to do the paint work again? Thanks for your advice..

    Reply to this comment
    • Vincent

      Nov 04. 2015

      Hi Wong, you can choose not reprint and keep the Hdb painting. However, during renovation, no contractor will help to keep your wall clean. It’s almost impossible especially for the carpenter, window grilles installer, aircon installer and electrician. You wall will be filled with stains. And the problem is it is difficult to get back the Same Hdb paint for doing touch up. Hope you will be able to understand what I mean.

      Reply to this comment
      • Wong

        Nov 04. 2015

        Thanks Vincent, yup I understand what you mean. So I guess cannot run away from this paint thing. Haha… So is this the last part of the series or is there a Part 6?

        Reply to this comment
        • Vincent

          Nov 16. 2015

          Hi Wong,

          Due to personal work commitment at that moment, I was unable to put in more time to the blog. However, I will be coming out with more new posting soon. So just add your email to my mailing list so that you will get notice for my new post.

          Reply to this comment
  16. Angelina

    Nov 08. 2015

    Hi Vincent! Thanks for all the informative posts. I’m interested in engaging a painter. Could you kindly share with me your trusted painter’s contact please? Sounds like he is really reliable and does the job well. Thank you so much!! 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  17. Adrien Lim

    Nov 08. 2015

    Hi, can i have your painter’s contact too?

    Reply to this comment
  18. alex

    Nov 25. 2015

    Email your painter contact

    Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Michelle

    Dec 02. 2015

    Can I have your painter’s number?

    BTW I really like your blog, full of useful information. Thanks Vincent! 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  20. jo

    Dec 08. 2015

    Hi,would appreciate if u can provide ur painters’ detail via email. Tks

    Reply to this comment
  21. jo liaw

    Dec 08. 2015

    I’m repainting my house. would appreciate if u can provide ur painters’ detail via email. Tks

    Reply to this comment
  22. jason

    Dec 30. 2015

    Hi Vincent,

    Can you provide me the contact of your painter.

    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
  23. Katherine

    Jan 12. 2016

    Hi Vincent,

    Can pm me your painter’s contact details via email.

    Many thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  24. budiy

    Jan 20. 2016

    Dear Vincent,

    Could you share your painter’s contact to my email as well? Thank you.


    Reply to this comment
  25. Celest

    Jan 22. 2016

    Hi Vincent, a great blog for newbie like me. Good knowledge. Just to check if you are able to share with me your painter and carpenter contact details?

    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
  26. Jim

    Feb 12. 2016

    Dear Vincent,

    Can you share your painter’s contact? Big thanks!.


    Reply to this comment
  27. Sabrina

    Feb 21. 2016

    Hi Vincent, can share ur painter cntct number. Tks!

    Reply to this comment
  28. Sharyn

    Mar 02. 2016

    Hi Vincent, pls share your painter’s contact. Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  29. Sara

    Mar 10. 2016

    Hi Vincent, I would like to have the contact of your painter too! Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
  30. Ivy

    Mar 29. 2016

    Hi Vincent, may I know if your painter can do a touch up for me for a 3rm resale flat as my sibiling help to paint but we did not do a good job. Appreciate if you email me the contact of your painter. Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  31. Amelia

    Jul 12. 2016

    Hi Vincent! Thank you for your posts! It is definately beneficial :)Is it possible to get the contact of the aircon installer and carpenter from you?

    Reply to this comment

    Sep 17. 2016

    Thanks for sharing this article, I am happy to get this. You have the best site and nice posts they very helped us. It’s an impressive one of the best blogs . I am very much impressed with you. Thank u all

    Reply to this comment
  33. Nut

    Oct 24. 2016

    Anyone hired Vincent’s recommended painter Harun?

    How’s the quality of the work?

    Reply to this comment

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