What’s the Most Difficult Thing About Being a Decorator?

Once a good decorator has finished a job, chances are, the final product is going to look fantastic.

But like most things in life, a lot of hard work goes into producing the kind of result that we’re proud of. On a typical day we could deal with customers telling us how to do our job, pains and aches and on occasion, a lack of motivation.

With this in mind, we thought we’d ask some of the painters and decorators we know what they consider to be the most difficult aspect of the profession. Here’s what they had to say…

Billy, Sharp Decoration

Being deemed the lowest skilled on site yet produce the most volume of work pm2 in time frames set by ‘The Flash’ then getting snagged to hell by the site manager who sent 30 tradesmen into your job after you completed it. To deal with this, the pay is diabolical to be honest.

Dave, Self-employed

Customers who thinks decorating is easy work and expect you to work for peanuts when they haven’t a clue about prep work and all the rest of it.

Ryan, RP Painting & Decorating

Staying motivated when you have lots of work to do but your partner is wanting you to take time off because they have. All the while you know you’re booked in for the year. I frequently get comments such as “what do you mean you can’t take that week off, you’re self-employed”.

Nick, Self-employed

Worrying that your staff haven’t been up all night on the booze and aren’t coming in!

Mark, DF Painting

Time management with all the extras that I get. It makes giving a time frame to the customer difficult. That and the rain if you were scheduled to do an exterior job.

Michael, Self-employed

I hate the early hours. Being a night owl is a curse.

Dean, Dycor

Logistic of the job. Explaining to the customer the way a job needs to work, which rooms are needed, which day with drying times, certain materials that are needed and applications. If you get the logistic wrong you lose money and miss dates and deadlines. Decorating is the easy part.

Chris, Self-employed

Being responsible for the end result of maybe 4 or 5 different trades before us. All of which might have done a good job or might have done a poor job. Both are expected within the same budget and time frame.

Terry, Self-employed

Not being offered a cup of tea whilst the customer is standing there with one. I feel like there should be a lesson at school on how to treat tradespeople with respect so that nobody has any excuses for being a dick!

Warren, W&A Painting

I hate having to deal with the mess a previous painter has left because they didn’t do their job properly.

Liam, Liam Sutton Decorating

Dealing with fussy customers with unrealistic expectations is the one that gets me. Second to that is pricing right to win the job.

Mia, Self-employed

Having to go to work when you could be out enjoying the sun. Or getting up and going to work when it’s freezing cold during the winter.

Robert, Allbright Decorators

Work schedules is the toughest for me. I wish I was as good at managing my diary as I am painting!

Chris, Self-employed

The main thing is getting good, reliable help. Subcontractors are trying to drive their wages up these days which can make taking on unknown and potentially unreliable help an untenable risk.

Ben, FineLine Painting

Relying on others is the most difficult thing for me but I would say that’s the most difficult thing in any business. I find being a decorator the easy part.

Richard, Self-employed

For me it’s quoting and getting the price right so I don’t lose money but not making it too expensive that I don’t get the job. My customers normally don’t have thousands to spend.

Ryan, BG Improvements

Trying to get the customer to understand why you haven’t got the paint open yet within 30 minutes of arriving after them saying “all the prep is done”.

Glen, Self-employed

For me it’s keeping on top of all the new advancements with the actual paints. It seems like there’s so many different paints constantly being released that I’m not having the time to keep up with them. I tend to stick to my tried and tested when I can but I’m always hearing about how there’s a much better paint out now.