What Toll Does Years of Being a Painter Take On Your Body?

If you’re thinking about becoming a professional painter and decorator, you might be choosing the job because it’s active and you hate thee thought of working in an office all your life.

But what toll does years of being a painter take on your body? We asked a variety of different professionals how long they’ve been working in the trade and what medical issues have become apparent from working a physically demanding job. Here’s some of the responses we received.


Been at it since school. I’m 60 now and not too bad. I think our trade is OK – always moving, going up and down steps – nothing too hard on the body. I didn’t do sports as a youngster so that probably helps plus I’ve been doing a bit of gym stuff over the last 10 years. Overall I don’t think it’s too bad at all.


39 years with a prolapsed disc but I’m still going strong. Sod aches & pains.


Started in 1988 and still no ailments. Maybe I am just lucky.


40 years in the trade without ailments. To be honest I’m more worried about retiring!


Need new knees, new hips and new shoulders but I reckon that’s due to playing a decent standard of rugby for too long rather than painting.


I’ve been painting for 22 years. I fractured my spine and 2 vertebrae in my lower back 12 years ago. The doctor said I’d never paint again but obviously I still do. The pain is always there but goes when I’m painting weirdly enough. The only time it hurts on the job is when I’m painting skirting boards for long periods. Takes me a good few minutes to stand up straight.


I’ve been painting for 23 years. Apart from my feet, knees, hips, hands, back and neck I’m all good!


I’ve been painting for 30 years and I’m feeling it now. I have widespread arthritis, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, had carpel tunnel operation, tennis elbow operation, 2 operations on my spine and have 2 fractured vertebrae between my shoulder blades. The list goes on…


I’ve currently got tennis elbow and last year had a slipped disc.


42 years in the trade. My knees and back are gone, I’ve got arthritis, had 2 shoulder operations and am due a hip replacement next week. I can’t put it all down to painting though as I played a lot of football.


Where shall I start? L4/L5 degeneration of discs, arthritis in neck, knees and ankles and white finger on my left hand due to a ladder fall. That’ll do for now! I’m only 61 and still working but am on constant painkillers.

I have pretty bad osteoarthritis. Just turned 62 and just received my 2nd hip replacement. Such a relief, as the last two/three years have been absolute agony! Hopefully, those should see me okay for another 10 years or so.


I’ve been painting for 36 years and had to have time off with lower back pain a few times.


After 31 years in the painting trade I’ve had 2 knee surgeries on my left leg and waiting for another on my right knee. Wish I’d have worn knee pads as I reckon the safety equipment these days will help new painters majorly in the future.