Hire a Professional Decorator

Do You Do Extras for Free When On a Job?

Many professional painters in the trade often complain that the amount of work we do warrants a higher pay packet.

Whilst many people only ever see the finished product, painters have to deal with tough working conditions, long hours and physically demanding jobs.

Whilst many feel they’re not being paid enough, that doesn’t mean that painters won’t go the extra mile. With this thought, we decided to ask a group of professional painters whether they do extras for free when on the job. Here’s what they had to say…


100%. I always try on any job just to do a little freebie even if it takes me 10 minutes.


I always charge OAPS half price as I feel it’s just the right thing to do. Obviously someone in a big house and nice car I don’t, but I do get a lot of OAPS who clearly are not minted just wanting a room done. Just be kind is my motto.


I once priced a job for an elderly lady who reminded a bit of my own mum. She rang me and said she was not accepting the quote as it wasn’t enough money for the amount of work that needed doing. Can’t win sometimes, bless her.


I always try to improve what is already there. If it takes longer so be it but I need to be happy with my work.


My thoughts is that doing something extra for free will always pay for itself with repeat work further down the line.


Depends obviously, but I’ve got a client whose having a bit of a terrible time with plasterers, so I’m sanding the walls down, doing the requisite prep for no extra & I’ve pushed a job back to fit her in so she can get at least one level neat & tidy. It’s nice to be nice…sometimes!


I’m always doing odd bits for free! It’s all a part of the service. Customers love it and they’re always happy to recommend me so I don’t see why not.


It can make you look a soft touch in my opinion. I’ve had customers phoning me every time they get a scuff or a crack shows. Yes, it looks like 2 minutes out of the day but if you have to make a journey, get filler, brushes out, tidy up – it all adds up.


On a job I just finished their internal oak window sills weren’t on the to-do list. But to be honest they looked horrible and shabby after I decorated the rest of the room. So I did them at no extra charge. Off the back of that I got another 4 weeks work out of them in the new-year. So yes it can pay back big sometimes, other times not so much.


I’ve found over the years that if the customer is always willing and keen to make you plenty of tea/coffee throughout the day they are the ones you normally get more work from if you do a few free extras. It’s not a hard and fast rule but it normally works out like that.


I always do more than what I’m paid to do.


If the job is going well and there’s time to fit extras in I’d do it. Might be a different story if it’s a long job.


The elderly are asking you “can you just do this for me” and as I’m 70 I just do it and I get so much work from it all so it’s nice to be nice and it costs nothing.


All extras are charged and only do what’s agreed, no more! Why should you, unless on day work then you shouldn’t. Tesco don’t give you free food when get to the counter!


We all go above and beyond. But it’s human nature to take the piss if you’re over-friendly with the client. I’m confident in my painting skills but half of the client’s friends would be calling me because they think they’ll be getting half the job for free.


As long as they don’t ask I think it’s great for business. Or if they ask “oh how much would it be to knock in that ceiling in the downstairs loo” and the paints there it always looks good. However, if it’s a full room etc it’s always on the bill.


I was decorating a bedroom years ago for an elderly customer. She asked me to look at her guttering because it was leaking. As a favour before I finished, I cleaned it and put some Black Mastic in there and left after saying it might stop it from leaking. After a month, we had a lot of rain, she actually phoned me complaining it’s still slightly leaking! Moral of the story – it’s sometimes not worth the hassle.


I do it all the time. I don’t look at it as free because of what you get back long term.


I usually do something extra for free. It makes for happy customers and repeat customers plus the extra recommendations you get.


Thanks to all the painters and decorators who submitted their thoughts on this topic. It’s really interesting to see that a lot of people do little extras for free and how doing extra for free can actually be a good business tactic.

It also makes sense as to why you wouldn’t do extras for free, too.