How to work with your Painter or Decorator

Professional painters and decorators are essential to a project

What to consider when working with a Painter and 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 restoration, renovation or home improvement project. Try to place your best interests first and 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 as to how to work with your painter or decorator successfully.

Request quotes

jenga RFQ

Get different quotes from various decorators and compare their prices, a quote may include the type of materials they use, and the period they intend to take on and deliver your project. Ensure that you focus on the factors that are of utmost importance to you, which you required from the job or project delivered by the painter and decoratos. You want to work with your painter or decorator to ensure that your quote covers the whole project or job, as well as consider changes that may result as you move through the project or job, and the scope or the requirements change.

Ensure quotes include costs and requirments for potential changes clauses to the work

This change could be cosmetic, corrective or functional, such as stain proofing, or texturing paints. And may not be apparent at the start of the project, but at the stage when you agree the budget, include these indecision as change request quotes, and and ensure that you have these identified these and they are in the quote, as to the increase or additional time and materials, required to deliver. But this is improtant to also ensure that there is a decision point, in the schedule at which the chnages need to be commited to in order for the project to proceed as per the pre identified chanage. This will also ensure that if your project does change, your budget can support the change, but also the painter and decorator can secure materials and resources, equipment etc.; to deliver the changes, as per the schedule and contract.

For instance, a change clause, might mean you 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. or purchase and use materials that are in-line with your budget. If the cost is too high, you can negotiate with your decorator and agree on a price that fits your budget. but also ensure there is clarity before commiting.

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

When looking at costs for a painter and decoratos, 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, or will the painter or decorator correct the issue, at their cost or via insurance or liability?

Check your painter's/decorator's insurance.

liability insuracne document

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 the risks your decorator’s insurance covers. It is best to check liability carefully before beginning any work with your painter or decorator. 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 whilst the painter is doing the work. For example, if someone slips on wet paint, protective equipment on the floor, or in some other way that liablility can be demonstrated conclusively, as the fault of the workman. If they injure themselves, then; the painter’s insurance will cover their medical costs as a start point.

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, as well as call the policy provider to explain the situation and get information on what is included, not included or needs to be considered, in order to enable you to decide what you need to do before proceeding with the project.

For instance:

Personal liability cover

This insurance protects you in the event that the reverse occurs, e.g. you and your family are held liable or responsible for bodily, property or injury damage to a third party, in this instance the painter and decorator, Personal liability covers the legal costs or damages that you are required to pay in compensation as a result to the painter and decorator.

Many factors are considered when getting a policy so be prepared for a lot of due diligence by the insurance providor, before they decide one way or another on policy provision.

Ensure timely delivery of materials

You supply materials and or equipment and resources

If you are responsible for sourcing the materials, resources and equipment, for the project, make sure this is agreed with the painter and decorator, and is part of the contract as to what and when. It maybe you wnat to save money or use a specific product. Either way this needs to be clear on the contract.

Ensure the agreed terms, material quantity, dleivery location, time etc are adhered to, this is to enusure the painter and or decorator can work on the project without delay, quality issue or having to incurr costs, as well as trust in you. Ensure you are delivering on your commitments, in scope for responsibility, in order that you also don't end up paying twice, as painter has to resolvie, on time to avoid any delays which the painter may need to charge as it impacts his overall scheudule to other contracts. Delays could extend your project completion time, which can further cause inconveniences and negatively affect the relationship.

Establish regular communication with your painter

painter on phone

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

Make contingencies for work or sleep, if the room is functional. Work with your painter and decorator, on the use of the room, and work a way to give your decorator the space and time to do their work in the right way, but with minimum disruption to you. For instance, if the painter or decorator is working on your bedroom, you can use the sitting room for a while as a work area, or another are for sleep. This gives the painter and decorator time to work, on completing the task in the fastest time, as well as minimise the disruption to you. if they working around a sleep or work schedule which requires you to occupy the room being painted or decorated, your project may take longer and cost more..

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 refer to the contract, of if their is an issue which needs arbitration, involve a third party such as an Ombudsman.


After you are fully satisfied with your painter's work, you can now discuss the full payment. If you had previously paid a deposit, you need to agree on the timelines for 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 which they should also provide a receipt after you make the payment.

Doing these things can improve your overall experience. You will work with your painter or decorator seamlessly, and you will be satisfied with the job. Document

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If you liked this guide, do check out our other articles How to hire a local Gardener or Landscaper to guide you through the gardener selction process, as hiring is just one part of the process and finding the right gardener or landscaper 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.