The Modern Decorator is King!!

Updated May 19, 2024 | Posted Sep 1, 2021 | Professional insight, Business, Life of a Decorator | 3 comments

There was a time when decorating wasn’t even classed as a “proper trade” by some. Don’t get me wrong, there were “master decorators” who wore a shirt and tie and worked in domestic dwellings, but it’s hard to get away from the old stereotype.

You know the one; Tesco bag full of tools, depression, on the Tennant’s beer by 10, then Spoons straight after work. No money, no respect, bottom of the food chain.

It has completely changed over the years!! Decorating has advanced and the modern decorator is now an expert in modern business. We have more resources to help us, from literature on pricing and marketing, to training. We have dust free sanding equipment, airless spraying, kitchen spraying, special effects, Silk Plaster and all manner of other specialisms a decorator may take up to make them stand out. Loads of angles to generate more income and give us better lives.

We understand marketing and track hit or referral rates, as well as return on investments. We give full, detailed and well-presented quotations which include terms and conditions. We have a vast knowledge of products, and the many paint brands available. We understand unique selling points and how to talk a client through a process. We are kings and queens with the world at our feet!! Even site bashers are gods amongst men!!


It feels as though over the last 20 or 30 years we have dragged ourselves out of the mud. As a result, the modern decorator charges a premium and lives a good lifestyle. We are the kings and queens of the building site; we dictate our own hours and how we expect a site to be before we arrive.


Final Thoughts


I’m proud to be a painter and decorator and I’m proud of how the trade has evolved. I know some decorators are still “stuck in the mud” in how they generate leads, what they charge, and the techniques they use, but more and more decorators view the trade like I do.

If you’re a decorator reading this, YOU ARE A KING, never forget that. If you aren’t a decorator and you’re reading this, show some respect, we’ve earned it.


The Modern Decorator – by Mike Cupit

Updated May 19, 2024 | Posted Sep 1, 2021 | 3 comments

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. Richard

    Severe shortage of skilled labour is pushing rates up especially on mid to higher end private work. Customers scared no one else will even turn up to quote..
    I think most decent decorators will never get a quiet spell or have to drop rates hugely to gain work now.
    I expect this to continue across be all trades, possible exception of large new build sites prices always lower.

  2. Darren

    I’ve put my prices up dramatically over the last few years and even have clients saying someone was cheaper but they were worried they were too cheap ‘I does it 100 quid love knock it out in 2 days’ , always now booked at least 3 months in advance and this year I’ve got enough waiting till the end of the year. When I qualified nearly 30 years ago I did notice people would look and treat us like a lower level citizen to the point you wouldn’t say what you did for a living now a days there is an element of pride to tell people and you get a reply from them that’s almost impressed especially when you say you can wallpaper. Although we may not like it, other trades saying the decorator will sort it has made Clients realised we actually are a skilled trade.

  3. Iain Mackay

    £30 a hour all day long I’m charging same as joiners and plumbers in my area cause we’re just as good and finish the job of 👌


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