The Worst Things About Being a Self-Employed Decorator

By Mike Cupit

 

I’ve been a self-employed decorator for what feels like six thousand years. I generally like my job if I’m honest, but there are a lot of negatives that come with it too. I thought I’d explain a few of the worst things about being a self-employed decorator for the readers on DFUK. Hopefully, if you’re thinking about taking this cr4p up as a living, this will make you think again.

 

The paint

 

Paint is horrible stuff!! It get’s everywhere!! All over you, all over your tools, all over everything which isn’t covered and even on some things that are covered!! We literally fight the same battle every day. We go in and need to cover everything, just to then walk paint into the next room!! We’re expected to always look presentable and tidy, but get covered in the stuff every time we use it. We carry buckets of the stuff in our vans, which we sit in with paint filled clothes, but we’re expected to have pristine looking vans!! It’s mental!!

 

The Wallpaper

 

As a decorator, I often hang wallpaper. 9 times out of 10 the paper is fine and there are no issues. However, the law of average dictates we’re going to come up against a bad paper fairly regularly!! Get a bad paper which marks when you hang it, or shows every seam and we run the risk of not being paid for the job. It isn’t always our fault if a paper doesn’t look right!!

 

The Unpaid Part of Being Self-Employed

 

Washing tools out, quoting, keeping the van in top shape, paperwork, organising materials and much much more, are all to be carried out in our own time without pay!! Or that’s how I see it anyway, which is why I’m always behind with it all.

 

Bodily Ailments

 

Tennis elbow, a bad back, three bad knees, ankles and shoulders. When we go out to do the same thing every day for a prolonged period, we put our bodies under a ridiculous amount of stress. It takes its toll in a massive way and you rarely meet an older decorator with no major complaints.

 

Is Decorating Even a Trade?

 

Yes, it is!! Now shut up!! People can’t understand why we charge what we do. Well, we need to!! We work very hard, have loads of running costs, put up with all kinds of sh1t and still earn a relatively low wage compared to other trade!! Listen, if you don’t want to pay, ask your local gardener!!

 

Drink and Drug Problems

 

This is a myth …. honest

 

Bad Clients

 

Self-employed decorators run a gauntlet when it comes to clients!! There is often no way of knowing whether a new customer is out to rip you off or has unrealistic standards. Some ask for ridiculous levels of work such as two coats of emulsion on a ceiling or the use of undercoat before gloss!! Some don’t even make you a brew!!

 

 

Still fancy becoming a self-employed decorator? Nar, maybe I should start looking for a different career too!!

It’s a Decorators’ Job to fix bad Work

Why don’t builders take responsibility for completing their own work? It isn’t a decorators’ job to cover bad workmanship and make them look good!

Mates rates in decorating – yes or no?

Do you have separate rates for mates in decorating? Or is it unreasonable for a friend to ask for any sort of discount? Dean Young gives his view.

How Wethertex® Transformed Tired Brickwork

See how Wethertex® transformed this tired brickwork on this industrial unit!! Become an official contractor to gain the support of this brand leader.

Crown Paints Teams up with Material Source

Crown Paints Teams up with Material Source Studio, a World Class Product & Materials Hub for Architects & Designers. This is impressive!!

Imagining What Life Used to be Like

Professional decorator Vish Ladwa finds himself imagining what life used to be like for the original owners of a Victorian house.

Crown Trade Vinyl Matt Review

Professional decorator Mike Gregory gives a full and honest Crown Trade vinyl matt review. This is quite a cheap option, but is it any good?

Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle Paint Brush Review

Professional decorator Mike Gregory gives a full and honest review of the Hamilton Perfection Pure Bristle paint brush. Is it a brush or dinosaur?

Crown Paints Leaves Flawless Finish on Joules HQ

Crown Paints are an industry leader when it comes to product and specification, as you can see here as it leaves a flawless finish on Joules HQ.

Crown Paints and Todmorden Town Hall Revitalisation

Crown Paints have been heavily involved in the revitalisation of Todmorden Town Hall. Everything from colour consultancy and specification!!

WRX Eggshell Review – Written by a Decorator

Professional decorator Mike Gregory jots down a full and honest WRX Eggshell review. How does it shape up against its rivals?

The Worst Things About Being a Self-Employed Decorator