Stress and the Decorating Industry

Updated May 11, 2024 | Posted May 8, 2022 | Professional insight, Life of a Decorator | 1 comment

Stress is something a lot of decorators struggle with. Many of us work alone and it is very easy to feel isolated.

Most of us are self-employed, which comes with a lot of pressure. Things go wrong from time to time on a job, and a problem on one job often has a knock-on effect with the rest of your workload. Sometimes you find yourself worrying about work, which leads to sleepless nights, or avoiding certain customers.

There are often no clear boundaries between homelife and work life. We find ourselves working late, cleaning tools, organising quotes, and completing admin well into the night. Stress and the decorating industry seem to go together for almost everyone!

There are Things You can do to Help Alleviate Stress.


The first thing I’m going to say may sound a bit daft, but all you need to do is come to terms with the fact things will go wrong at work from time to time, and it is Just a job. It matters, but not enough to let it affect your homelife, so don’t!

Another thing I think we’re all guilty of is putting off awkward phone calls. Especially if a job is running over and you need to tell your next client, but you know they’re going to be unhappy. It is easy to fall into the trap of switching your phone off and concentrating on the job you’re doing. By putting off that phone call, not only is it going to play on your mind and prolong the stress, but when you do eventually make the call, you’re giving your client even less notice. Take the time to plan ahead and make that call as soon as you know it needs to be made. Better yet, phone your next few clients and let them know to expect a delay.

The last thing I’ll say about managing stress is to take a “housekeeping day” when things get on top, especially if you don’t have time to! When we’re under pressure to get work churned out, we tend to forget about everything else that comes with the job. Cleaning tools, organising materials, planning, quoting, admin, cleaning your van, the list goes on. Taking a day to get on top of everything acts as a “reset”, and it’s like a huge weight off your shoulders. When you come back to work, you are free to focus on work, without everything else running around in your head. Plus, because you’re organised, your productivity will increase!


Reaching out


Stress and mental health are strongly connected. If you struggle, then trust me, you’re not alone. There are people you can talk to. DFUK has a Facebook Group which is set up for decorators who struggle. It is called Painter and Decorators Forum Mental Health Support. Anyone is welcome, all we ask is you always remain respectful and keep other peoples’ comments completely confidential. The Dulux Academy also have some great insight.

Updated May 11, 2024 | Posted May 8, 2022 | 1 comment

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.

1 Comment

  1. richard

    No matter how busy don’t get into the 7 day a week trap, then next week same again.
    It will take its toll especially if your over 30 and not as fit or keen as once was.
    Your body now definitely needs a rest day !!
    Your customers couldn’t care less about your families happiness so you need to be firm.
    They wouldn’t work 7 days a week so why should you…
    Many a marriage has crumbled with 7 day working away etc.
    Making it the dearest weekends you will ever work !!!
    Don’t end up divorced , skint upset kids ex wife and stay in a crappy flat..
    All because you work 7 days a week !


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