Best Advice For A Young Decorator

Updated Feb 9, 2024 | Posted Mar 7, 2019 | Professional insight, Life of a Decorator | 1 comment

We asked members of  The Decorators Forum UK the best advice they could give for a young decorator. This is what they came back with…

The best advice I could give to any young decorator is to always try to impress. That means looking clean and tidy, grafting and having an eye for details. In a few years you can start your own decorating business, but first you must learn your craft.

Richard Fry

Get an accountant, keep that accountant, make him or her your friend for Life! Keep on top of your paperwork and you won’t put yourself under as much pressure.

Dave Lock

Don’t get a partner! You’re better off working on your own.

Mickey Fallis

Top tip for youngsters in the trade; pay attention to the advice given from your elders and peers! Always try and learn new things, tips and tricks will get you far. There’s nothing more useful than the knowledge of someone who’s been in the game for years! This has helped me out as I’m one of the younger decs on here, but I’m still always trying to learn more stuff every day.

Jay Price

Always where a mask for sanding and get knee pads.
Ryan Gibb Decor

Use PPE no matter what anyone else is doing. Always read the labels on the product you’re using, especially warning labels
Robin Stanex

Look after yourself
Robin Stanex

Best advice is to learn by watching other people’s mistakes rather than making your own. It makes life much easier
Bill Lowes

Always keep your work area clean
Michael Martin Stanley

Be respectful to those teaching you. Remember you never stop learning in this trade. Always wear knee pads and face masks when necessary. Be the best tradesmen you can be, because the more you learn the more you will get out of the trade.


Best Advice for a Young Decorator

David Anderson

Always safety first for you and people around you. If you’re not comfortable with anything, tell them
Mark Kay

Respect people’s houses like they’re your own
Robert Farrell

Always keep a dust brush, scraper & some scratch on you 👍🏻
Harry Clarke

Always keep a rag in your pocket
James Hunter

Don’t put a rag in your pocket that has been soaked in white spirit
Joe Elwick

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Bryan Dennett

Chris Hayes poor preparation makes for poor performance
Chris Hayes

Don’t overload your brush before cutting in and always lay it off for a better finish
Phillip Whitehead

Knee pads…. Wear knee pads!
Simon Young

Every time your boss has something to say, listen no matter how bored you are. Everything he tells you will come in handy at some point in your career… He or she is not old and boring, they are older and more knowledgeable. That’s my est advice for a young decorator

Joe Elwick

Best advice for a new person starting out would be, never stop learning!! Take in as much as you can, for all trades, not just your own. It will help you out no end in the real world
Neil Smallshaw

Don’t take stupid risks with ladders!
Gerry Willis

let’s face it, certain aspects of Painting & Decorating can be mind numbing at times.

My advice would be to get them to divide the jobs down into smaller sections. That way they will feel like they’re achieving something and making progress. They will see light at the end of the tunnel and won’t get fed up so quickly.

Richard Irons - Best Advice for a Young Decorator

My advice is be ready on time and turn up and don’t sit down on the job the knowledge will follow
Stuart Tweedale

Strain your paint. No point being dustless if your paint has bits in it
Andy Foster

Paul Oakes Don’t put snails in your boss’s chips and gravy, good times ☺️


Best Advice for a Young Decorator

Paul Oakes

Keep of the phone!!
Bill White

Once you’ve grasped the set up. always try to be a step ahead of your boss. don’t always wait to be told, use your initiative and do it if you know it needs doing.
Richard Irons

Leave your personal pride at home, go to work and do what you’re told. You’re not going to get given good work at first, but don’t think just because you’ve done college that you’ve “made it”. You’re not too good to do the sh*t work. Earn the respect of your peers by doing any job well and take pride in that. Each step up you make, keep taking pride in each job and want to do better. You’ll soon notice that people around you are noticing your good work and attitude.

Or sod it all that off, go to a council and become rough as heck like me 🤣

Lee Brown

listen to what your gaffer says or you’ll be covered in black gloss
Gary Currington

Make sure when quoting for a job you write every single detail down. There is always something they try and get away with. f possible, make sure paint colours and talked about as well, just in case for extra coats etc.
John Playford

When at the decorating centre don’t ask for a sky hook 🤣
James Thorpe

Remember to put your brain back in at the end of the day
Thomas Jennings

Don’t have your colleagues or gaffer coming to your door to get you up in the morning. Be ready for pickup on time and in good form.
Stuart Gillanders

If they ask you to go to the shop for a long stand, don’t! t’s a trap! I was there for 2 days!!!


Best Advice for a Young Decorator

Matthew Moore

Be credible be accountable and don’t be jealous in decorating


‘He’s so busy he doesn’t need to advertise at all, no sign writing, no website.’

Well darn isn’t he a lucky man? But why does this wind me up? Am I jealous? No, I’m busy too. But do I advertise? Well yes, I’ve got a little advert in the village magazine. I think it brings me 1 or 2 customers a year. I also have a sign written van, a website, social media pages. But is that advertising? Well for me it’s about building brand standards and reputation. But how should you, as a customer view it?

I’m pretty kitted out with online presence in comparison but why am I made to feel like this is a bad thing?

Have you ever tried to look up a business on Facebook and discover they’re not there. ‘Do they even exist?’ You ask yourself. ‘Did I get the name wrong? What do you mean they’re not on there?’

Pretty much all the biggest names in business are on Facebook. They almost all certainly have a website. But it’s not just for advertising. You can ascertain many things from these tools. First and foremost, if the level of work is akin to what you require, but they also provide a certain level of credibility that john down the road in his white van charging day rate cash, will not have.

If he can’t show you his work online. What else is he hiding? Does he have insurance? Do you know how or where to contact him if your job went wrong, and he stopped answering his phone? Do you know his full name?

Accountability is everything. A company with an online presence, brings about a peace of mind that is invaluable.

Can you review John’s work? Are the reviews of his work policed on his terms or can you rate him without fear of vindication.

If you can’t, others can’t, and you’ll never know if he’s been trouble in the past.

There is obviously a lot to be said for word of mouth. In fact a bitter tale between two tongues could destroy a business in an instant. That’s why you could view having an online presence as more admirable. Knowing a few choice words from a complete stranger, a disgruntled customer or a jealous competitor could destroy your reputation at any minute is something any business owner will not take lightly. I’d like that risk to be recognised and held in high regard alongside John ‘who doesn’t advertise’.

While I am in awe of one’s ability to exist in business without an online presence, I do not hold said person above my standards. In fact, I cannot see those standards at all. In the building industry, faulty wiring or a bad gas installation for example, could be the end of your home and your family altogether. How much credibility would you give ‘John who doesn’t advertise’ then? Also, have you ever asked for recommendations for a restaurant in your local area and someone has suggested a place you don’t like, or is unsuitable. Well remember that everyone has different tastes, varying standards and quite often a different budget. So be warned, next time someone recommends a trades person on the premise that ‘he’s so good he doesn’t need to advertise’. Ask yourself, if that’s really a good thing. No offence John.

Harriet Stone

Updated Feb 9, 2024 | Posted Mar 7, 2019 | 1 comment

1 Comment

  1. Kevin Oxby

    Get use to Radio 2 especially as tea break is at 1030 in time for the music quiz


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