Getting your home painted? A good paint job can give your house a fresh, new look – besides improving your curb appeal if it’s exterior paintwork. But, are you prepared for the home improvement project? And, do you tip painters? Is it customary to tip house painters?

If you want to know if it’s good etiquette to tip a house painter or not, this blog is for you. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of tipping painters. And also the right situation and the right way to tip your painting contractors. Keep in mind that whether to tip or not depends a lot on the context of the work being done. 

Also, unlike other service professionals such as waiters, bartenders, hair stylists, and delivery personnel who rely mostly on tips for wages, the painters you hire are generally paid by the hour or are compensated for their time by the company that hires them. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. Let’s find out the advantages and disadvantages of tipping and how much do you tip interior house painters. Or, exterior painter for that matter.

Tipping house painters: Pros

tiping painters

There are some really good answers to the common question: Do you tip painters? First of all, it’s a good way to express your gratitude for the effort they’ve made. Secondly, it might inspire them to improve their work on your house even further. Third, sometimes, it’s just a common courtesy for a job well done. And lastly, if you’re known as a good tipper, you’ll probably get better service for your subsequent home remodeling projects in the future. 

Keep in mind that there’s no obligation to tip painters. You should only do so if you can afford to pay the extra money.

Tipping house painters: Cons

There is no rule of thumb regarding tipping painters. While they don’t expect tips, they certainly appreciate the extra money. However, before you decide to tip your painting contractor, do keep a few things in mind.

Make sure the tipping doesn’t create an awkward situation for both you and the painter. That is to say, if the painter feels uncomfortable accepting a tip or you feel like you are overpaying for the work – it’s best not to tip.

Also, make sure the tipping doesn’t lead to uneven compensation among painters working on the same paint job. If one painter paints well and receives a tip from you, while the other doesn’t, it may create feelings of jealousy or resentment among the painting crew.

Most importantly, tipping does add to the total painting cost. A tip could make you go over budget. Or, it may be the last thing on your mind when factoring in the cost of materials, cost to paint or labor cost, and overhead charges. Like we said earlier, if you cannot afford a tip, you shouldn’t. 

The bottom line is that the idea of tipping a painter should be comfortable for both parties involved.

How much do you tip painters?

interior painters and tips

The tip amount depends on the quality of the job and how much you agreed to pay for the painting service. If you’re happy with the paintwork, a 15% to 20% tip is appropriate. Or, $20 to $40 per painter – depending on the size of the renovation work and how great the painter or the customer service was. You could give a smaller tip if you thought the job could have been done better. Or, no tip at all. Basically, you can tip at your discretion.

If you refer to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a professional house painter is about $42,140 per year. Add to that a 3 to 4-year apprenticeship program to learn professional painting. If a painter is indeed great at their work, and has met all your expectations, they do deserve something extra. Tipping becomes a good way to show your gratitude for the hard work put into your home by the painter working. 

Some alternatives to tipping professional painters

If you’re not very happy with the idea of tipping your painter in cash, you could employ other ways to show your appreciation. Here are a few good ideas to pay back a gifted painter:

  • Leave a positive online review on the painter’s social media or business account. It will make them look more appealing to potential clients and bring them more business.
  • Give them a small, meaningful gift such as a lovely coffee mug or a gift card to a restaurant.
  • Recommend them to friends and family who may require their services.
  • Buy the painters food and drinks during the workday.

Should you tip the owner of a painting company?

When it’s time to tip professional house painters and other tradesmen, it’s better to direct your gratuity towards the employees instead of the employer. That is to say, you must always give it directly to the person who completed the paint job instead of giving it to the business owner. It’s the only way to ensure that your tip money is going to the right person.

Whether you have multiple contractors simultaneously working on your house or a single skilled laborer, it’s important to recognize the value of their work and consider tipping each of them as a regular practice.

The owner of a painting company, on the other hand, would be more thankful for your positive reviews and personal referrals instead of a monetary bonus. Your referrals, online reviews, and testimonials will help their business grow.

When should you NOT tip at all?

Sometimes, tipping painters may not be necessary at all. For instance, if you’re dissatisfied with the service provided by the painter regarding the quality of their work. Or, if there are significant issues with the final outcome. In such cases, there’s no need to go the extra mile and tip them out of formality.

Additionally, if you are dealing with a single painting contractor who owns the business, they typically charge a price that encompasses their expected earnings from the job. They do not expect any additional monetary benefits.

To tip or not to tip: Last thoughts

Whether or not to tip house painters is a question that often confuses homeowners going for a home renovation. Painting is a huge job but unlike a server or a hairdresser, the worker doesn’t expect to be tipped. However, it is always up to the homeowner to show their gratitude for a great job through tips. After all, you do tip your hairdresser 15 to 20 percent of the salon fee, right? So, why should a good painting contractor be deprived?

Do you tip painters? And if yes, how much? was last modified: June 8th, 2023 by Ramona Sinha
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