A professional decorator’s pet hates

Updated Nov 14, 2022 | Posted Oct 16, 2018 | Professional insight, Life of a Decorator, Uncategorized

Decorating is a funny old game. It’s good money if you hit it correctly, stay organised and price your work correctly. That said, decorating can also be stressful. So, we asked professional decorators from The Decorators Forum UK Facebook group about their pet hates from within the industry. This is a sample of what they came back with…

My pet hate is unrealistic completion times on site work and low prices.

Just give us more time and a higher price and we will do a nice, decent job. It’s not much to ask you greedy big builder c**ts. It can be hard to make a living as a decorator sometimes. 🖕

Dan Hans

The inconsistencies of paints, particularly with water-based versions of gloss and satin. You’d think that every manufacturer would be able to make quality products for decorators to use, but apparently not.

Steve Chubb

My only real pet hate is the stress that comes with being a self-employed decorator. Customers don’t seem to realise, but sometimes problems crop up on a job which causes extra work. They want you to do it for free.

Jobs run over, your next customer gets a strop on because you’re not there when you’re supposed to be. Or you knock a TV off the wall and need to claim on your public liability insurance.

All this whilst keeping on top of cashflow, quoting for work, keeping tools clean, admin work.

Don’t get me wrong, the decorating industry is fantastic at times. Other times, you just feel as though you’re drowning.

Mike Cupit

Working behind other trades who leave a sh*t finish is my biggest pet hate! We’re expected to make their shoddy work look good!

Adam Atkins

The f***ng snag list that u get after the builders tradesmen have opened the door and thrown a grenade in!! Other tradesmen do not seem to respect our work, especially when site bashing.

Mark barns

Companies who get the f***ng cleaners to come in 3 days early to do a deep clean when I’m still working … FFS!!!
Dean Burnman

People that say “Lick of Paint”, or “you’ve missed a bit” is my pet hate.

Derrick Knight

When there pestering to get you, then once you finished they go quiet you can’t get hold of them for your money…..hmm 🤔 funny that one
Keith Saunders

When you gotta paint behind a toilet and the customer is some fat smelly geeeza who doesn’t clean his bathroom properly….
Harry Goldson

When you’ve just finished walls on a new-build and then this happens.

Steve Jones

Know it all’s, thinking they’re the best decorators, just because they do their own house. 😡

Dale morgan

Radiator fluff!! Dust, sanding, paint site painting! The list goes on!

William James

my biggest pet hate about being a decorator is the actual paint!! It’s gone downhill over the past few years and it costs more than ever!!

Roy Forman

Customer’s that make really s*it tea. Or even worse, never offer you a cuppa! Have some manners!

PJ Law

apprentices and mobile phones, that’s all I’m saying

Jon Mace

Customers who constantly change their mind on colours, and customers who are watching over you all of the time your on the job.
Alison Withers

For me, it’s all the running around doing unpaid stuff. Going to see quotes, colour consultancy, nipping back to jobs to touch up, cleaning tools etc. The list goes on!! It isn’t easy being self-employed sometimes.

Mike Myers

My pert hate is when the paint tins that help gather dried paint around the edges. Then when you open the tin to decorate, it all falls in.

John Currie

People bumping gloss. And new plaster not being prepared  properly.

Also people messing around with colours. Changing mind and so on.
Dean Wilkes

I walked off a job after taping a room and they proceeded to bring materials in and lay against everything I just did hand prints on my fillers ruined everything I’d spent a whole morning doing and you wonder why I go rage , hence I walked off the job with my gear.
James Jardin

Being the guy who has to make all other trades look like there also good at there job
Harry Walker

Doors and rads. I know they need to be painted, but I hate doing them!

Paul Hough

The bitching that goes on between Decorators…some of the protagonists should be wearing skirts
Liam Wilson

Updated Nov 14, 2022 | Posted Oct 16, 2018

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.

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