How to become a home decorator

Becoming a home decorator is a highly rewarding job. You are called into someone’s home, which is a little rundown and needs some love, and you do your magic. The customer returns to a home that feels new again and is somewhere they can invite others with pride. Seeing the look on the face of the person as they see your work offers an immediate sense of accomplishment.

What does a home decorator do each day?

When you are a decorator, you do more than paint or wallpaper someone’s house. To be successful, you need to be able to meet with clients and understand their needs and goals, talking them through samples. You need to estimate the costs of your labour and the materials required and be responsible for sourcing the best paints. Choosing the right supplies is a crucial part of this, as you will be judged on how these perform in your customer’s home or work.

The steps to becoming a home decorator

  1. Understand the profession. Before you set off getting any qualifications in any profession, you need to know what each day will look like when doing the job. Most of your work will be manual, and a massive part of your day will be prepping the surfaces to apply materials. Your success will be based on your attention to detail.
  2. You will then want to get your qualifications. An easy way to gain these professional qualifications is through an apprenticeship. You can get employment with a current painter and decorator and then attend college for the learning required off the job. If your qualifications are well regarded, and your training is recognised, you will find it easier to get jobs in the future. You can start as a painter and decorator without these qualifications, though you will be working on word of mouth and hoping that client testimonials offer peace of mind to clients. They trust you to reshape their home, so they will want to be sure of your competence.
  3. It takes time to become a skilled home decorator, and you need to gather experience. You can start your journey by asking friends and family to give over their home decorating jobs to you, which will allow you to develop a portfolio of work to show others. This is also why working with an expert decorator in an apprenticeship is a solid beginning to your career.
  4. Start building a network. Your best jobs will come from word of mouth and recommendations. Therefore, it is good to connect with other trades and past clients who will put your name forward when someone is looking for a decorator. Managing this network should be a proactive part of the working week. Cultivating relationships takes time, and you need to play your part. It might mean you recommend someone you know, and they do this in return. Networking isn’t a skill that always comes easily to people, yet it is usually the only way to build up a business of happy clients.

When you are in your career

So, you have got your qualifications, and you have built a home decorating business. It would be easy to believe that your work is done. However, you need to continue learning. The trends in home decorating change over time, and new techniques become popular. Therefore, you should always be looking to upgrade your skills.

It might be that learning more takes you on tangents, which helps you as a home decorator. For instance, taking drawing or computer-aided design courses could open your mind to new ways of dealing with space as you become much more creative.

At a basic level, keep learning means reading industry magazines and staying in touch with what the best people in the trade are saying. You might also want to join a professional organisation. This organisation will offer you representation and legal protections, but it will also offer information about your job and the connections you can make.


Becoming a home decorator is rewarding and easy to get into on a small level. You can simply start offering your services to friends and family and earn some money. If you are building a career as a home decorator, you will want to formalise your training and start building a professional reputation.