While the list of costs for masons detailed by the Board of Works extends to over a hundred different jobs, that for painters is a bit simpler. Government rates were listed in “Contract Prices 1734—1774” (WORK 5/148). The page for painters has a number of additions and marginal notations added over the years; those are ignored here and I just reproduce the basic list of activities.
The list is interesting both for the prices the government was willing to pay for different jobs in the 1730s, but also as detailing what kinds of work they expected painters to do. The Office of Works was in charge of the royal residences and the types of painting work that were used for a palace were not necessarily a reflection of everyday practices.
The most senior position to do with painting was the office of Sergeant Painter, held by William Hogarth from 1757 until his death in 1764. The office had a nominal salary of just £10 a year, but Hogarth himself claimed that he made more than £200 a year from it, and he had a deputy to oversee the actual work carried out.
|Pearl Colour three times done in Oyl per Yard||0.8|
|Ditto twice done per yard in Oyl||0.6|
|Wainscot Stone Lead & Cream Colour thrice done in Oyl per Yd||0.8|
|Ditto twice done per Yard||0.6|
|Green thrice done in Oyl per Yard||1.0|
|Ditto twice done Per Yard||0.9|
|Marble Wallnutt tree &c thrice done in Oyl per Yard||1.8|
|Varnishing Wainscot per Yard||0.9|
|Gilding per foot Superficial||4.0|
|Sash Treatment thrice done on one Side, Each||1.3|
|Sash Squares ditto on one Side, Each||0.1½|
|Window lights thrice done on one Side, Each||0.4|
|Sash Frames twice done on one Side Each||0.10|
|Sash Squares ditto on one Side, Each||0.1|
|Window Lights twice done on one Side, Each||0.3|
|Window Barrs Shutter Barrs &c per barr||0.1|
|Casements on both Sides Each||0.3½|
|Cleaning old Painting per Yard||0.1|
|Painting in Size per Yard||0.3|