Has Being a Decorator Changed Your Life for the Better?

The painting and decorating industry is often mired in negatively – half of which is by painters and decorators themselves.

Whether it’s the early starts, rude customers or physical aches and pains – being a decorator is one of the less glamorous career paths one can choose.

But is it REALLY that bad? Do a vocal few create a negative stereotype? We decided to find out. We asked hundreds of painters and decorators whether becoming one changed their life for the better or not. Here are some of the responses we received.


Did 31 years in finance, left due to a breakdown and mental health issues, been painting 3 years and love it, it’s hard but the smile on people’s face when you transform a room, it’s the best, will still be learning for a long time but I’m happy and not dead. So painting has changed mine and the families life for the better.


Can’t deny I’ve never felt more like I’ve got bipolar than with this job. My love and hatred of it are like a pendulum.


Love the trade just hate the rates compared to other trades even though we are left to tidy up everyone’s shit.


100% changed me as a person, worker, friend. I’m more loyal, think of others more, help more where I can. One thing has been a negative, few people have taken the piss and I’ve had chancers with me and had to fire a lot of people. However I’m now where I need to be with money in the bank and a new business venture in place.


Came to it late in life as a full time career. Worked most of my life in various office based jobs – including consulting for massive multinational companies. Absolutely fucking hated it and wish I’d made the move years earlier.


Best thing I ever done. Left school with no GCSE’s & not knowing what to do. Then started an apprenticeship with Bagnall’s. Went on my own early noughties – it has been difficult but I’ve got a decent client base now with regular income.


Had a shit boss in my 20s when I was learning so didn’t really enjoy it but knew I was good at it. Set up solo and never had a happier life. Customers are up and down but the control over what days I work and don’t even that out. I’m not in it to be rich, I’m in it to have a decent work life.


Love it. From a 6 month tester at college, to 2 years course, 1.5 years apprentice, 7/8 years working for someone and now on my own last 2 years. Wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Had an amazing guy teach me so much and got to me to where I am now.


Yes…I got a job as a painter during Covid 19 (I’m a chef but couldn’t work in hospitality). I thought I was being clever as I’d blagged a job on a building site only to find out that I was working alongside a farmer and airline pilot… not the only one blagging it.


Was 15 yrs old when I started my apprenticeship. Done many jobs since to make ends meet but have always been proud of my trade and the skills I now have.


I love my trade – it’s customers that have no idea what goes into a decent job that set me away. “Oh that’s a lot more than we thought we will have a think about it and get back to you” is the bane of my life.


Had a great laugh decorating from school but I wish I hadn’t started it.


To be honest, I started out in 1983 and still doing it, I absolutely hate it but it pays the bills and has given me the freedom to holiday when I needed it. But nearly 40 years later… I hate it. I would love to be off the tools and manage things instead but finding enough work and above all, the reliable workforce to do the job for you and carry on what you have pain stakingly built up is the Holy Grail in this industry.


I had to get an Apprenticeship my dad’s saying was always get an apprenticeship lad get an apprenticeship, just happened P&D was 1st one that came along ! So did my 5 yes 5 years! Not the 2 minutes they do now. Made good money – sometimes a grand was a bad week. Tenerife for a month every winter, so I’d say yes thanks dad I did ok but 50 years down the line body’s gone, liver is gone & can’t wait for retirement next year.