Everything You Need To Know About Hiring A Painter

Painting and decorating is about finishing and styling your home


You can paint your home yourself, but a painter and decorator can ensure that they paint, wallpaper or apply the right finishes to the interior and exterior surfaces of the property, building or structure in a professional and high quality way. They can be hired by construction companies, painting contractors or building maintenance departments, but they may also be self-employed professionals who have more control over the work they do and who they work for.

If you want to provide your home with that new and fresh outlook that is aesthetically pleasing. You could be wondering how to hire a painter who will achieve your needs. We are here to guide you through what you need to know about hiring a painter who can deliver good results. But first, let us take you through the most common paint problems you could encounter.

Most common paint problems


If you notice a single coat of dry paint on your surfaces splitting, your paint is cracking. The most apparent cause of cracking is old paint. Over time, paint becomes fragile and cracks easily. Cracking also happens when you use thin paint on your surfaces or when your paint dries too fast. If you apply a top coat when the undercoat isn’t completely dry, your paint will crack.

To prevent your paint from cracking, always remember to let your undercoat dry thoroughly before painting the topcoat. You can also hire a decorator to guide you on the best primer and paint to use and the commended spreading rate.


Peeling is also a common paint problem affecting your home's interior and exterior surfaces. It causes the outer coat to fall off the surfaces. Your paint can peel due to dampness for example, when you use oil-based paint on wet surfaces.

Your surfaces can also peel when adhesion between two paint coats is lost, causing the outer layer to fall off. Additionally, if you apply paint on dirty or dusty surfaces, the paint is likely to peel.

You can prevent peeling by cleaning and priming your surfaces before painting. However, consider hiring a painter if you want your paint to last long.


Have you noticed some discoloration on your painted surfaces? Your paint is fading. Fading is typical on surfaces exposed to direct sunlight and excessive moisture. Your paint can also fade if you use a low-quality primer and paint or fail to use weather-resistant pigments in your paints.

To prevent fading, we recommend you hire a painter that can help you select the best quality primer and paints for your all your external surfaces.


Blistering is another common problem that can ruin an otherwise perfect paint. Your paint blisters because of the bubbles from underneath the surface. The bubbles cause paint films not to adhere to the surface properly, forming round bumps. Blistering can happen on both exterior and interior surfaces.

Blisters occur due to excess moisture underneath your paint caused by improper ventilation or water leaks. They also form if you paint your wall when the humidity is high. If you use oil-based paint on dump surfaces, recoat your surfaces too quickly, or paint on hot surfaces or when there is intense sunlight, your paint will have blisters.

To protect your surfaces from blistering, avoid painting when the sun is scorching or when it’s raining. You can also prevent blistering on your paint by hiring a reliable painter.


After painting, your surfaces can get stains when pre-existing stains on your wall discolor your topcoat. Staining can happen on interior or exterior surfaces and is commonly noticed after the painting is completed.

If your surfaces are stained after painting, you probably failed to use a primer before painting, and the stains bleed through your paint. Staining can also occur if you try to paint over dark paint using lighter paint.

You can prevent staining by applying aluminum sealer before painting. However, covering stains might be tricky. We recommend hiring a painter. They are experienced in painting stained or treated surfaces.


Chalking is also a common problem and likely to happen on your exterior surfaces. It is characterized by a loose powder on your walls. If your walls are chalking, you might have used low-quality paints with a high concentration of extender pigments. Chalking also happens when you use colored paints having large amounts of tints or when you live in a salty environment.

If you have used interior paints to paint your exterior surfaces, your paint is also likely to chalk. Chalking can also happens when you over-thin your paint before application and fail to seal any porous part of your surface properly before painting.

There are so many dos and don’ts you can follow to prevent chalking. However, for the best paint results, you can hire a painter.

Gritty surface

A gritty surface paint problem happens when you fail to clean oil and dirt from your walls before painting. After painting, the grease and dirt on your walls leave your painted surface uneven. If dirt gets into your paint, painting brush, or rollers, your painted surfaces can also become gritty.

To prevent your paint from getting gritty, smoothen it by straining before painting. We recommend you hire a decorator to help you with the perfect outcome for your decorating project.


When your paint starts to wrinkle, you have a paint problem. Wrinkling causes your paint coat to become rough and crinkled. It happens when you apply a heavy topcoat on your surfaces or expose your uncured paint to moisture. Additionally, if you fail to give your undercoat enough time to dry or paint over un-cleaned surfaces, your paint can wrinkle

If you are not a qualified plumber opening your clogged drains could destroy your home. Clogs in your drains cause water to accumulate under pressure. Therefore, the sewage drains into your home or property should only be cleaned by professional drain cleaners. If you try unclogging the system yourself, you may damage the piping and cause flooding, this could damage wooden floors, the sewage might damage materials and other parts of the house. Instead of opening your drains, and attempting to do the job yourself call a certified plumber, or a drain cleaner.

Don't forget maintenance on your drainage system

Preventing your paints from wrinkling involves drying each coat before painting the next. We recommend consulting a professional painter if wrinkles still form after allowing each paint coat to dry.


If you have noticed that paint draws away from your surface when you are painting, leaving unpainted patches, your paint is cissing. It happens when you use dirty paint or a brush. Cissing also occurs when oils, silicones, or grease contaminate your surface.

Additionally, if you apply water-thinned pain over a glossy oil-based coat, your surface will likely have cissing problems.

You can prevent cissing by ensuring that your surface is free from contamination, especially silicones, before painting. If it doesn’t work, you can opt for professional painting services.


Mildew is also a common paint problem that you can experience on interior and exterior surfaces. It is a fungus that grows on your paint film producing green, grey, black, or brown spots on your painted surfaces.

Dampness is the most common cause of mildew growth on your paint, and you are likely to find it in bathrooms and laundry rooms. Mildew can also grow when you use low-quality acrylic paint or fail to use a primer on wood surfaces before painting. Additionally, mildew is likely to increase if you don’t use paint with mildewcide or clean mildew from your surfaces before painting.

To avoid mildew problems on your paint, scrub and remove existing mildew from your surface before painting. You can also apply a coat of stain-blocking primer and avoid using low-quality acrylic paint.

Because mildew grows due to a lack of knowledge, proper techniques, and products when painting, you can opt to hire a professional paint contractor to help you deal with the problem.

A Painter vs. a Decorator, what is the difference

What does a painter do?

A painter applies paint to internal and external surfaces of residential, private and/or commercial buildings and structures to improve their appearance.

Below are some roles of a painter

• They use putty or plaster to cover holes and cracks on your walls

• They prepare painting surfaces like walls by scraping

• They assess the area that you need to be painted and determine the amount of paint needed

• They apply paint using hand brushes, sprayers, or rollers

This can also involve some math’s for the painter, such as calculating the surface area of the surface being worked on, to determine how much of the paint, primer etc.; they require. As you know different geometry surfaces have different calculations for the surface area, so a painter has to consider this so they do not waste paint, or charge too much for paint they don't use or not have enough paint to complete each stage of the task.

What does a decorator do?

A decorator is a professional who is responsible for improving the aesthetic appeal of your space by using decorative aspects such as paint, wallpapers, and other accessories.

• They help you choose the color and design of paint

• They install or put up wallpaper

• Choose furnishings and decorative art for your house

• Help you choose the type of fabric that suits your space

• They work with you to select the type of floor coverings to add to your space

• They assist you to select the ideal house plants for your space

A decorator and a stylist can be very similar in roles and there can be some overlap, the main difference being a stylist tends to be more creative in the process of determining how a space should function, and subsequently what the decoration should be with the whole space in the property, building or commercial area. A decorator may have a narrower remit, like wallpapering flooring and minimal accessorizing of the property space, building or commercial area. Decorators, also tend to be more hands on in some roles where they have expertise, whereas, the stylist would opt to work with specialist engineers, tradespeople and designers, to achieve the desired result for the client.

How does this make the roles of a painter and a decorator different

There are several differences between a painter and a decorator. Let us guide you through the key differences between a painter and a decorator.


The difference between a painter and a decorator is that a painter only uses paint to enhance the beauty of your structure while a decorator covers all aspects of designing your project. Decorators help you choose the right color scheme, wallpaper, fabric, or furnishings to make your space visually appealing.


A painter only focuses on one aspect of painting your structure. On the other hand, a decorator aims to improve your project as a whole.

A decorator can offer you expert advice regarding any decorative aspect of your project while a painter provides advice about different painting designs and styles.

Is there really a difference?

Painters and decorators are different. However, this depends on the skills and how the professional wants to consider themselves, they can be either, or, or even both. In some cases, a painter might have both painting and decorating skills. A decorator can also be well equipped with painting skills. A painter who has specialized in painting alone will differ from a decorator who only has decorating skills, in the end it comes down to the trade professional and how they want to be considered based on their experience, training and skills.

How to decide who you want for your project

• If you are content with your decorative designs in your space but need to paint the exterior and interior surfaces of your building, hiring a painter would be more suitable.

• If you need to re-design your space to fit your personality and style, hire a decorator.

• You could have a major home renovation. In this case, hiring a decorator will help you with so many aspects than a painter.

• If you want to increase your home’s value, you could hire a decorator to change aspects such as fixtures, furnishings, and even painting.

• Alternatively, you can hire a painter and a decorator. The painter will focus on applying paint on your property to boost the structural value while a decorator focuses on the design factors.

• Hiring a decorator would be more suitable if you require some extra touch to the finishings of your walls like graining or marbling.

How much do painters charge per hour?

The standard hourly rate of a painter ranges from £15 to £20 per hour. This price depends on several factors including:

Your location

Some locations have a high cost of living which would make the painting prices quite higher than in places with lower costs of living.

The painter’s level of expertise

Hiring a painter who is highly skilled will require you to pay a higher price than a painter with average expertise.

Job complexity and materials

If the job is particularly complex in accessing, or scale, or requiring a lot of materials and additional HSE equipment this could also impact the price, as well as if working with high value properties, which require more expensive materials.

How much do decorators charge per hour?

The average hourly fee of a decorator ranges from £20 to £30. The price varies due to factors such as your location and the decorations you need to be done, and the level of expertise of the decorator. A new decorator is likely to charge less than a decorator with fifteen years of experience.

How to hire a painter

Start with a detailed plan to give to the painter

Having a detailed plan when trying to hire a painter helps you save time and money. Some of the things to consider while planning area

The type of painting you need

Is it an exterior or interior painting project? The condition of your home determines the type of painting you need. If your bathroom walls are infested by mildew or your kitchen walls are blistering, you need interior painting

However, if your exterior walls are faded because of sunlight or cracking because the paint is too old, you need exterior painting. Therefore, it is essential to determine the painting necessary in your home while planning.

Interior painting can be done in all seasons; however, it is only possible to get your exteriors painted during summer and spring when the weather is suitable.

The size of the surface you need to be painted

The size of the surfaces you need to be painted determines your overall painting costs. The more the square footage, the more it costs. Hiring a painter for an extensive painting project is cost-effective. However, if you only need a small surface to be painted, for instance, your living room, it's cheaper to hire an independent painter.

The quality of paint to use

Do you want to use standard or the highest quality paints? Select high-quality paints if you want a long-lasting solution to your paint problem. They last longer, and you won't need to repaint your home soon, but they cost more.

If you opt for the standard quality paints, you might need another painting project sooner, and your overall painting cost might be high.

What to look for in a painter or decorator

Hire a painter who can deliver quality work

Quality is vital, and you should hire a decorator who can deliver your project beyond your expectations. Your decorator can only provide high-quality work if they use the color and the type of finishes you want.

If your selected products are not of the best quality, your painter can advise and help you choose the better products. High-quality products and excellent workmanship will give you quality results.

Pick a contractor with the cleanest work

Painting is a messy job, and it’s advisable to hire a clean painter. A clean painter is organized and ensures that your properties are protected from accidental damages by paint. Covering your furniture and floors can also help to keep your home clean.

Additionally, before your painter considers your project done, they should clean every surface and remove paint spots from your home.

Select a contractor who responds quickly

If you want to have a smooth painting project, hire a painter who responds promptly to your questions. It makes communication more straightforward, and you’ll know the progress of your project. A responsive painter also keeps you updated on the essential steps they take.

Hire a competent painting contractor

While looking for a decorator, find the most competent one, you will get more value. Competent painters know their abilities and limitations and cannot take on a project they can’t deliver.

If you have a competent painter, any challenges that might arise while the project is ongoing will be handled professionally. For instance, if your walls keep staining after painting, they know what to use so that the stain can’t bleed through the topcoat.

Research painting contractors in your local area

Hiring a reliable painter requires you to conduct thorough research. Because you have a detailed plan, it is easier to find information about painting contractors. Most contractors have websites where they post details about their services.

You can read the reviews on their websites and learn more about the contractors. If you find contractors whose websites are filled with positive feedback from satisfied clients, they are your best choice.

You can also visit social media platforms and search for information about painting contractors. For example, you can follow a painter on Twitter to get more information about their services. If you follow them on Instagram, you’ll see pictures of their completed painting projects, and you will get an idea of the quality of their work.

You can also ask your friends and neighbors about the best painters in your local area. This can be a painter who previously worked for them or their neighbors. When you get contractors through referrals from family and friends, expect excellent services.

You can also learn more about painting contractors through your local community boards. If the contractors have listed past projects on the boards, visit the projects sites and verify their claims.

Vet for the best painting contractors

When you are done with your research, you’ll have about five contractors you are interested in working with. Since you have already gathered enough information, compare the details and narrow it down to three contractors.

Do the contractors have licenses and certifications? Licenses show that the contractors are qualified and can provide quality work. If they are certified, they have the required skills and knowledge to complete your project perfectly. One other check is if they are a member of the guild of master craftsmen.

While vetting the contractors, check their portfolios. Compare the quality of painting among contractors offering the painting services you need. You can select the one with the best quality.

While vetting, it is also essential to consider the contractor’s experience. Choose the contractors experienced in providing the type of painting services you need. For instance, if you need to repaint your wall because of wrinkling, look for contractors with experience in proper paint curing.

Conduct the initial interviews via phone

If you still need clarification on some issues after vetting, you can call your contractor. Calling also allows you to start a conversation with your potential painting contractor. From your call, you can determine the following:

• Do they have a friendly tone?

• Are they comfortable and relaxed while talking to you?

• Are they professional?

• Are they providing enough information on the issues that needed clarification?

• Are they excited to provide you with the information that you need?

• How are they responding to your questions?

• Do you understand their styles of communication?

The phone call will allow you to learn more about your contractor. Therefore, while selecting your contractor, you’ll consider the contractor with whom you communicated comfortably.

Request estimates from your three best painting contractors

If the information you have about your top three contractors is sufficient, you can call them and request estimates. The contractors will send representatives to inspect your project. Later, they will send you the prep work, material, and labor cost estimates. Their estimates depend on the following:

• Size of your project

• Materials required

• Preparation needed

• Time of the year

Pro tip 1

Pick a contractor whose estimates match your budget, and avoid contractors with extremely low estimates. They might use substandard material, and your project's results might disappoint you.

Get the contract

Don’t forget to get a written contract. Your contract should be ready before the painting project starts. You can involve a third party such as a legal counselor to draft a template for the contract. Go through the details first and understand everything that is required. In case some information is not clear seek counsel.

Before signing, confirm if all details are included. Your contract should include the following details:

• Your contractor's contact information

• Start and end date for your project

• Information on the painting process

• Your requirements, the type of paint, and the materials needed

• Terms and conditions of the project, including payment agreement

Pro tip 2

Keep a record of every verbal agreement between you and your contractor. It might be helpful in the future.

Tips for hiring a reliable painter

• Hire a local painter

• Hire a painter who provides a warranty with his work

• Remember to ask if the contractor can deliver what you need

• Hire a contractor who provides an itemized estimate

• Check if they have the right insurances and documents

How to work with your Painter/Decorator

Trusting a painter or decorator with your space is not easy and requires in-depth research on your part. You will need to find a reliable decorator to undertake your renovation project. Try to place your best interests first and try to find a painter who can deliver what you require. You also need to establish a healthy relationship between you and your painter. Below is a guide on how to successfully work with your decorator.

Request quotes

Get different quotes from various decorators and compare their prices, the type of materials they use, and the period they intend to take on your project. Focus on the factors that are of utmost importance to you.

For instance, you might need a shorter project completion time. In this case, you should communicate with your painter so that they can probably re-adjust to fit your schedule. If the cost is too high you can negotiate with your decorator and agree on a price that fits your budget

Request complete details of the quote to have a better understanding of the quality of materials being used.

Enquire about the payment methods. You can consider the following factors:

• How does your painter prefer to be paid?

• Do they require a deposit first and if so what percentage of it should you pay upfront?

• What mode of payment does your decorator use?

• Will you be refunded in case the project fails?

Check your painter’s/decorator’s insurance

Before hiring a painter, check whether they are insured. If they are, check whether their insurance is from a legal insurance company and whether it is current. Ensure that their insurance will be valid for the entire project period.

Check what risks your decorator’s insurance covers. The following are some types of insurance that the painter should have

General liability

This type of insurance compensates you for damages done by the decorator. For instance, when a painter spills paint on your vehicle, the insurance covers the cost of repairs.

Public liability

This insurance cover protects the public in case they get hurt on your property on account of your painter. For instance, if someone slips on wet paint and hurts themselves, the painter’s insurance will cover their medical costs.

Check your home insurance

Does your insurance cover legal costs related to disputes with traders, such as decorators? You can go through it carefully to check what is covered and what is excluded. For instance, you could look out for covers like:

Personal liability cover

If the painter or decorator hurts themselves in your property, this insurance covers their hospital bills.

Ensure that the materials are delivered on time

If you are the one responsible for sourcing the materials to be used on your project, let them be delivered on time to avoid any delays. Delays could extend your project completion time which can further cause inconveniences such as extra costs.

Establish regular communication with your painter

Transparency is important if you want your project to be a success. Communicate effectively with your decorator to clarify any queries you might have concerning the project. Let your decorator also have access to you in case they have any questions.

Get rid of disruptions

You can halt some activities to give your decorator the space to do their work. For instance, if the decorator is working on your bedroom, you can use the sitting room for a while. This gives the decorator time to work with minimal disruptions.

Resolve disputes amicably

Disputes can arise and you need to come up with an effective way of resolving them. You could negotiate and agree. If the disagreement escalates further, you can involve a third party such as an Ombudsman.


After you are fully satisfied with the work of your painter, you can now discuss the full payment. If you had previously paid a deposit you need to both agree on the remaining amount. Settle the payment in the mode that your decorator prefers.

Ensure there is proof of payment. Your decorator should send an invoice after order completion, which they should also have an auditable trail of the work and transactions. Make sure the receipt after you make the payment is added to the invoice.

Hiring a painter is a long process, and you might get overwhelmed mid-process. Instead of planning, researching and verifying, you can use billntrade.com to find verified painting contractors near you. Our platform will enable you to find vetted painters with valid reviews. These reviews are legitimate because they are written by trusted customer, on completion of a project, job or schedule contract. onto to our site. Rest assured we only connect our customers with the most reliable, qualified and trusted painters. You only need to sign up and start requesting quotes from your selected painting contractors or open the quote to the marketplace.

Sign up at billntrade.com to start connecting with skilled and resourcefull electricians.

If you liked this guide, do check out our other articles How to find a builder to guide you through the builder selction process, as hiring is just one part of the process and finding the right builder is just as crucial.

About the Author

Tom Cakebread
Hi, I'm Tom I enjoy writing about the trades, and supporting tradespeople and customers where I can as an independent consultant.