Do you need to tip a house painter?

When it is time to repaint, is it good etiquette to tip a house painter? Some people are more prone to tip, while others feel the base price should suffice for the work. Which is correct? A lot depends on the context of the work being done. Are you hiring on behalf of your boss? Or are you in need of a contractor or painting professional for your own home?

For many service workers, a tip can do wonders for their ending paycheck. Homeowners are often tempted to paint themselves and may or may not be aware of the challenges associated with that work. Many aren’t up to the job and recognize they need the help of a professional. If you decide to forgo painting the home yourself should you tip a house painter?



In short, opinions are mixed. Does your house painter charge you an hourly rate? Or a flat rate for the entire job? A flat rate job may or may not involve overtime for the painter or painting crew–that’s a situation that may be right for tipping. But if you are being charged an hourly rate, forgoing the tip is not necessarily a violation of tradition.

Sometimes you may not want to tip a house painter. Tips are, after all, appreciation for services rendered.  If you hire two house painters for a job in your living room but the job takes forever to get done and the crew or painter has made a mess or otherwise behaved in a manner inconsistent with professional behavior, a tip is definitely not owed.

Contractors Who Get Too Aggressive About Tips

The same goes for any professional who is too aggressive about asking for a tip upfront. Don’t give in to pressure–change painters instead. Aggressive tip-seeking is NOT professional and should never be tolerated from a painting crew, movers, or any other professional you seek.

Again, tipping is an extra form of payment that shows gratitude for a job well done. If the job is not well done, or not professionally done, why tip?

In what cases should you tip a house painter?

Many service professionals do great work and deserved to be tipped. Most of the time they are competing with dozens of different companies in the area and will make sure you are taken care of. If the house painter goes out of their way to do certain things like, price your job lower because it would take them that long to complete or gives you free advice on your other room, you should tip them.

House painters on the higher end of the scale would even go to a hardware store to help you match the paint you are trying to use. Most of these painters do this so you could give them a solid review. Usually, a tip is just a cherry on top for most painters that enjoy the work they are doing.

How much should you tip a house painter?

While some feel 15% is acceptable (and in many cases, it may well be) the 20% tip is a very good number to go with if you are very happy with the work.

If you are NOT happy with the work or it is merely competent, lowering the tip is not unheard of.  Remember that you are the customer and if your concerns are met and exceeded, a tip is really helpful.

But when your reasonable concerns or needs are not met, the tip becomes more optional when there are more problems to deal with because you hired someone who didn’t or couldn’t meet reasonable expectations.


In some cases a tip may be totally inappropriate–a painter who is not an indie contractor but has a larger company to report to, tips may be handled a certain way by that company and not always with the intended result of the act of tipping. When giving a tip, be sure to do it in cash and separately from the main payment whenever possible.

If you tip your server at a nice restaurant you can tip a house painter. Tipping shows your gratitude for the hard work done to your home. Tipping, although small to some people, can revitalize a person’s attitude toward their work which can potentially give someone else great work.